Senior Scientists

Dr. Prasanna R Kolatkar

Prasanna Kolatkar

 Senior Scientist
 Tel: +974 4495 6445
Dr Kolatkar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991 where he studied structural biology in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He then spent several years studying structural biology in the laboratory of Michael Rossmann at Purdue University where he studied virus-receptor relationships and received a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund fellowship. Upon moving to Singapore in 1997, he worked for the Bioinformatics Center and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and joined the Genome Institute of Singapore in 2001. His current work involves understanding the molecular details of transcription factor (TF) complexes involved in stem cell biology. His laboratory uses biochemistry as well as structural biology to discover how TFs create function through combinatorial interactions. Recently this work led to the re-engineering of stem cell function through directed mutagenesis of key residues involved in protein-protein interactions.
Dr Kolatkar’s interests lie within understanding how the combination of two or more transcription factors (TFs) can give high specificity to TFs which have relatively low specificity individually. He believes that understanding protein-protein interactions of such complexes is as important as understanding protein-DNA interactions. Subtle changes in the protein-protein interaction interface gives rise to different TF partnerships which in turn gives rise to starkly different cell developmental programs. Using a variety of biochemical and structural biology methods, his approach can complement genomic approaches and thus obtain detailed knowledge of the transcription landscape. He has successfully applied this methodology and inter-converted pluripotency and endodermal programs by changing a single residue. His group will apply these approaches to understand developmental programs which play an important role in diabetes and cancer.
Mechanistic analysis of transcription factor networks involved in pluripotency and β islet cell development.
Dr Kolatkar’s current work is a continuation of his past work dealing with TFs involved in pluripotency and their combinatorial code and to also investigate TFs involved in various diabetes pathways such as β islet cell development. Dr Kolatkar’s laboratory will use a variety of methods including X-ray crystallography as well as various macromolecular interaction methods such as ITC and SPR to analyze protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions.
Dr Kolatkar’s laboratory will collaborate with several laboratories within and outside of QBRI. Within QBRI, the laboratory will work closely with Essam Abdelalim’s stem cell group as well as Richard Thompson for analysis of genomics data. In addition the laboratory will work with Kasten Suhre’s laboratory at WCM-Q as well as Valdimir Bajic laboratory at KAUST for bioinformatics analysis. Finally the laboratory will work with stem cell groups of Irene Aksoy and Larry Stanton at Inserm,Paris and Genome Institute of Singapore, respectively to validate biochemical findings.
Collaborator Name Institute Research Area
Essam Abdelalim QBRI Stem Cell Biology
Richard Thompson QBRI Bioinformatics
Karsten Suhre WCM-Q Bioinformatics
Vladimir Bajic KAUST Bioinformatics
Irene Aksoy Inserm,Paris Stem Cell Biology
Larry Stanton Genome Institute of Singapore Stem Cell Biology
Institution Course Name Role
Hamad Bin Khalifa University Advanced Molecular Biology Lectures and helped with organization
HBKU Techniques in biochemistry and molecular and cell biology Lectures, laboratory and co-organized
Name Institution Period
Omar Al-Emadi University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Feb 2015-Dec 2015
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