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Principal Scientist, Cancer Research Horizons

Nikhil Gupta is the Principal Scientist at Functional Genomics Centre, a joint venture between Cancer Research UK’s (CRUK) drug discovery engine, Cancer Research Horizons, and AstraZeneca. His focus here is the development of new CRISPR based technologies to enable/accelerate target gene identification to advance cancer therapeutics. He earned an M.Sc. in Molecular and Human Genetics from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, where he got interested in Epigenetics and Chromatin Biology. Nikhil did his PhD with Prof. M.R.S. Rao from Chromatin Biology Laboratory, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore, India. During his PhD, he characterized post-translational modifications of transition proteins TP1 and TP2 to understand the incorporation of transition proteins that facilitate the establishment of the sperm epigenome. From here on, he delved into stem cell research. He completed his first postdoc at the Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, USA, where he looked at the mechanisms for repression of pluripotency genes after initiation of differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs). Subsequently, he joined the Pierre-Antoine Defossez team for his second postdoc at CNRS UMR7216 Epigenetics and Cell Fate Unit, University of Paris. Here, he conducted genome-wide CRISPR screens to identify novel epigenetic regulators involved in DNA methylation regulation in mESCs and identify host factors responsible for HIV latency using Jurkat T cells.

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