Dinesh Rao

Dinesh S Rao

Associate Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California Los Angeles

310-825-2548

Laboratory Address:
650 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles , CA 90095

Office Address:
700 Tiverton Ave.
Factor Bldg 12-272
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Work Address:
BOX 951732, Factor 12-272
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Fax Number:
310-206-2757

Office Phone Number:
310-825-1675

Dinesh S. Rao is a physician scientist with interests in the molecular basis of hematologic malignancies. He received a B.S. summa cum laude in Biochemistry and an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA. During this time he developed a deep interest in the pathogenesis of cancer, completing several projects in cancer research during medical school, and went on to a research fellowship at the University of Michigan. There, he made a seminal discovery implicating clathrin mediated trafficking of growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases in oncogenic transformation. He then combined clinical training in the pathology of hematologic diseases with further research training in the laboratory of Nobel laureate David Baltimore at Caltech, making and contributing to important discoveries on microRNAs in the immune system. The Rao lab at UCLA, established in 2010, has been interested in studying the mechanisms of post-transcriptional gene regulation in hematopoietic development, the immune system and in hematologic malignancy. His research work has highlighted startling new mechanisms involving RNA binding proteins and non-coding RNA in oncogenesis, and the lab is focused on molecular biological underpinnings of post-transcriptional gene regulation and translational work to develop novel therapeutic approaches. In addition to running a vibrant research laboratory, he manages a busy diagnostic service in leukemia and lymphoma molecular pathology.

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, we want to understand the physiology and pathology of non-coding RNA and their interactors in hematopoiesis. Gene expression is a key component of regulating hematopoiesis, and many non-coding RNAs have some effect on gene expression. One subset of non-coding RNA, microRNAs, regulate gene expression and are thought, in most cases, to repress mRNA translation or cause degradation. It is now clear that certain miRNAs are important in controlling the differentiation of hematopoietic cells. The majority of studies point towards specific roles for these miRNAs in the differentiation of specific cell types, and we study how B-lymphocyte differentiation is regulated by various miRNAs. As we attempt to understand the mechanistic basis of miRNA action, we study key transcriptional regulators and targets of these miRNAs by using a combination of high-throughput gene expression analyses and computational approaches. miRNAs are frequently deregulated in hematolymphoid malignancies, and we are interested in both the pathophysiology of these processes and the thereapeutic possibilities offered by small RNAs. In addition, new classes of non-coding RNA are being described and we are interested in understanding how they might fit into the differentiation schema in hematopoiesis and how they might be disrupted in cancer. Hence, a better understanding of the action of non-coding RNA would be useful in our understanding of development, and could advance our understanding of the pathogenesis and treatment of hematolymphoid malignancies.

Biography

Dinesh S. Rao, M.D., Ph.D., received a B.S. summa cum laude in Biochemistry and an M.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA. During this time he developed a deep interest in the pathogenesis of cancer, completing several projects in cancer research during medical school, and went on to a research fellowship at the University of Michigan. There, he made a seminal discovery implicating clathrin mediated trafficking of growth factor receptor tyrosine kinases in the pathogenesis of oncogenic transformation. He then combined clinical training in the pathology of hematologic diseases with further research training in the laboratory of Nobel laureate David Baltimore at Caltech. His research came to focus on the involvement of microRNAs in hematologic development, particularly B-cell development and immunity, and cancer, and resulted in several high-impact publications in well-regarded journals. His research interests include how microRNAs and other non-coding RNAs regulate hematopoietic development and cancer. He combines running a vibrant research laboratory with a busy diagnostic service in leukemia and lymphoma pathology.

Publications