RNA Researcher Looks to Unlock the Power of Stem Cells

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 10, 2016) -- UAlbany biologist and PEW Research Scholar Prashanth Rangan is working to understand the biology of stem cells, which may ultimately help with the design of therapeutics to combat cancer and other diseases.

Rangan's research is funded through a $1.43 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The goal is to determine precisely how stem cells control their differentiation.

"The research I am doing here at the University’s RNA Institute will allow us to intervene in the correct cell type and block specific targets to promote or block differentiation," said Rangan. "The ability to prevent premature differentiation, in the case of degenerative diseases, or to induce differentiation, in the case of cancer, will have tremendous therapeutic impact."

Rangan’s work as an outstanding young scientist was recognized through funding from the PEW Charitable Trusts. His current NIH award, from NIH’s National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), runs through July 2019. NIGMS supports basic research to increase understanding of biological processes and lay foundations for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

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