The Bhaskara Lab studies Epigenetics, DNA damage response, DNA repair, DNA replication and chromatin structure.

Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) target histones and other non-histone proteins with important roles in cell survival and cell cycle progression. Changing the equilibrium between acetylation and deacetylation can adversely affect the normal functioning of cellular processes and cell cycle progression, and result in the development of various cancers. Several HDAC inhibitors are in clinical trials and two of these are FDA approved for the treatment of T-cell lymphoma. One goal of genetic studies of HDACs is to elucidate the function of individual enzymes and to define the actual therapeutic target(s) of HDAC inhibitors, which in turn might pave the way for the design of more specific inhibitors.

The Bhaskara lab research interest is to understand how histone deacetylases (Hdacs) control genome stability. The lab goal is to decipher the basic mode-of-action of specific Hdacs, which are targets of pan-Hdac inhibitors currently used in the clinic for cancer therapy. The lab's overall objective is to determine better and more effective Hdac inhibitors for use in cancer treatment. The lab uses conditional knockout mouse models and cutting-edge molecular biology, cell biology, biochemical techniques to understand the link between Hdacs and genome stability.

Projects in the lab

  • Project  1: To investigate the mechanism by which HDACs (specifically HDAC1,2) control DNA damage response and DNA repair.
  • Project  2:  Determine functions for HDACs (specifically HDAC1,2) during DNA replication in mammalian cells.
  • Project  3:  Role for HDACs (specifically HDAC1,2) in modulating chromatin structure to maintain genome stability.
  • Project  4: Utilize the knowledge gained from Projects 1-3 towards designing better therapy for a subset of cancers.

News & Blog

Good 4 Utah Press Release - New cancer drug tested in mice may benefit certain Leukemia patients
Research
Jul 13, 2017

Good 4 Utah Press Release - New cancer drug tested in mice may benefit certain Leukemia patients

lab

Almost 6,000 new cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, are expected to be diagnosed this year in the United States. The blood cancer can affect both children and adults. Scientists have found up to 30 percent of adult ALL patients have what’s called a Philadelphia chromosome, where two segments of chromosomes have aberrantly fused together. (The fusion chromosome is much less common in children.) Adult ALL patients exposed to standard treatments often see high relapse rates, and treatment-related deaths remain high. But researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah have discovered new science, published this week in the journal Leukemia, that could provide better therapeutic options for patients.... Read More

New Cancer Drug Tested In Mice May Benefit Certain Leukemia Patients
Clinical, Health Care Transformation, Education
Jun 09, 2017

New Cancer Drug Tested In Mice May Benefit Certain Leukemia Patients

Huntsman Cancer Institute, lab

SALT LAKE CITY –Almost 6,000 new cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, are expected to be diagnosed this year in the United States. The blood cancer can affect both children and adults. Scientists have found up to 30 percent of adult ALL patients have what’s called a Philadelphia chromosome, where two segments of chromosomes have aberrantly fused together. (The fusion chromosome is much less common in children.) Adult ALL patients exposed to standard treatments often see high relapse rates, and treatment-related deaths remain high. But researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah have discovered new science, published this week in the journal Leukemia, that could provide better therapeutic options for patients.... Read More

Principal Investigator

Srividya Bhaskara, PhD
Principal Investigator
Email

Cancer Center Bio