Swarna Beesetti, PhD Post-Doctoral Research Associate St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, USA

Swarna Beesetti, PhD
Post-Doctoral Research Associate
Douglas R Green Lab
Department of Immunology
St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, USA

I am a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Laboratory of Douglas R Green, Department of Immunology, St Jude children’s research Hospital, USA. I received my Ph.D. in Molecular Oncology from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. The focus of my PhD work was directed towards understanding the role of Pak1 in premalignant skin lesions and cancers and applying that information to identify and test potential therapeutic approaches. Discovered that activated p21-activated kinase-1 (Pak1) protects keratinocytes in UV-B induced premalignant skin lesions. Identified the functional and clinical significance of Pak1 in sun-induced premalignant skin lesions and non-melanoma skin cancer. Discovered the role of Pak1 in promoting gemcitabine resistance via signaling crosstalk, thus providing evidence for the use of Pak1-specific inhibitor adjuvants with existing chemotherapy modality for the pancreatic cancer PDAC.

As a Post-Doctoral Fellow at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, I discovered that the inhibition of NLRP3 inflammasome activation protects against hematopoietic suppression in FANCC-deficient mice, providing evidence for NLRP3 inflammasome as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of Fanconi Anemia. Evaluated the use of anti-IL-1beta therapy in FANCC-deficient mice. These findings provide fundamental new insights into the pathogenesis of FA, introduce FA as a new model for the study of selective autophagy in human disease, and may enable the identification of novel therapies for FA patients and, more broadly, for cancer and infectious and autoinflammatory diseases.

I have received “Best Young Investigator Abstract Award” at FARF (Fanconi Anemia Research Funding) Symposium 2021.