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May 10, 2016 - Meet the Researcher: Aishwarya Prakash, Ph.D.

2016-03-09 MCI Aishwarya Prakash MK 146813 resized.jpgWHO SHE IS: Assistant Professor of Oncologic Sciences at MCI 

WORK HISTORY: Dr. Prakash joined MCI in March 2016 after completing her post-doctoral research at the University of Vermont in the laboratory of Dr. Sylvie Doublié.

CURRENT RESEARCH INTERESTS: Dr. Prakash’s research interests lie in studying the structural mechanisms of DNA repair in the mitochondria and studying cancer mechanisms from a basic science standpoint. More specifically, the Prakash lab uses biophysical methods such as macromolecular X-ray Crystallography to probe the three-dimensional structures of proteins and protein complexes involved in Base Excision Repair.

As a post-doc, Dr. Prakash received specialized training in crystallography and attended several workshops on the topic, including RapiData, a practical course in x-ray diffraction methods at Brookhaven National Labs in Long Island, N.Y. With this technique, it is possible to study the atomic resolution of proteins and complexes, which then provides insights into the specialized functions of these complexes in the cell. 

EDUCATION: She earned an associate's degree in Biotechnology from Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas, and a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology, with a minor in Chemistry, from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Dr. Prakash earned her Ph.D. in cancer research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010. 

WHY I'M A CANCER RESEARCHER: “Cancer has touched all of us in some way. I decided I wanted to study cancer (either be an oncologist or a researcher) when my grandpa was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. I was young and had no idea what it meant, but watching him suffer made me realize that something needed to be done.”

FUN FACTS: I was born and raised in Bangalore, India, and moved to Texas when I was 16 years old. My immediate family still lives in Bangalore, but I am lucky because I have a large extended family, most of whom reside in the U.S. I love to bike, hike, go to Zumba classes and paint in my free time, and yes, I name everything, from my car to my dishwasher.  





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