Ragunath Singaravelu named Gilead Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation

By Megan Bard

UMass Medical School Communications

December 15, 2016
  Ragunath Singaravelu, PhD
 

Ragunath Singaravelu, PhD

Ragunath Singaravelu, PhD, has been named a Gilead Fellow of the Life Sciences Research Foundation. 

Dr. Singaravelu, a postdoc in the lab of Katherine Fitzgerald, PhD, Worcester Foundation for Biomedical Research Chair, will use the three-year grant to consider whether long noncoding RNAs act as major regulators of innate immunity, fine-tuning gene expression relevant to the immune response to cytosolic surveillance of DNA.

“Ragunath is highly deserving of this very prestigious postdoctoral fellowship,” said Dr. Fitzgerald, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology and director of the Program in Innate Immunity. “In my view, he has the creativity, drive and passion for science that are the perfect ingredients for a very successful postdoc here at UMass and a bright future in biomedical research,”

Singaravelu graduated from the University of Ottawa in 2015 andjoined the Fitzgerald lab in May. S

While at UMMS, his research has focused on how the body responds to DNA virus infection by using CRISPR techniques to knock out the genes of interest to gain greater understanding of their function and activate their expression.

“We’ve identified some long noncoding RNAs that are differentially expressed during activation of specific innate immune signaling pathways,” Singaravelu said. “Now we're using CRISPR techniques to activate and inhibit the expression of individual long non-coding RNAs to evaluate their influence on viral proliferation.

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