Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Office: AHC5 456-458
Department(s): Translational Medicine
Dr. Chakraborty completed her integrated master’s in biotechnology from Dr. D.Y Patil University Mumbai and performed her master’s thesis research in Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, India. After earning her degree in 2013, she worked in a cancer diagnostic lab in the Tata Memorial Centre Advanced Centre for Treatment, Research and Education in Cancer (ACTREC), India. Dr. Chakraborty joined the Bellis lab at University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2014 to pursue her doctoral studies in cancer biology. Her Ph.D. thesis was focused on identifying the role of novel cancer glycosyltransferase ST6Gal-I in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) progression and chemoresistance. Dr. Chakraborty’s work identified ST6Gal-I as a potent driver of gemcitabine resistance in PDAC by hindering DNA damage. Further, these studies have unearthed the previously unknown role of ST6Gal-I in PDAC progression by potentiating acinar to ductal metaplasia (ADM), one the most critical steps in PDAC development. Careful analysis identified enhanced stemness in the acinar cells with ST6Gal-I expression which in turn precipitated aggressive disease progression. Dr. Chakraborty received her Ph.D. in May 2019 and joined the Dimitroff lab in FIU for the postdoctoral training in September. In the Dimitroff lab, Dr. Chakraborty research will be focused on identifying the role of GCNT2, a novel emerging melanoma biomarker, in disease progression. The Dimitroff group has identified the loss of GCNT2, a glycosyltransferase responsible for the formation of I-branching on glycans, in aggressive melanoma. However, little is known about the process of regulation of GCNT2 in melanoma. Elucidation of its regulatory mechanism as well as the cause of enhanced disease aggressiveness due to the loss of GCNT2 will allow for the identification of a novel biomarker for melanoma capable of detecting aggressive disease. Additionally, mechanistic understanding of the role of GCNT2 in cellular signaling and the process of its regulation in cancer will enable the development of novel therapeutics directed at modulating glycan branching in cancer.