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Ganesh Pandian
Namasivayam

Junior Associate Professor / PI

Research Interest

Bio-inspired therapeutics, Epigenetics
My research goal is to create “Smart Genetic Switches” that precisely ON and OFF the genetic and epigenetic factor(s) of interest. Harnessing the genetic information acquired by high-throughput technologies, we can gain artificial control over desired cell-type-specific genes using DNA-based epigenetic switches and achieve targeted reprogramming and differentiation. Advancing our synthetic strategy to construct tailor-made switches for therapeutically important genes associated with diseases like diabetes, autism and cancer could open new vistas of clinical opportunities.

What I like about my science

I enjoy my science because it allows me to keep a sense of wonder and live my childhood passion for exploring and decoding the mysteries like the cell’s secret codes. Tunability of our chemical tools and the necessity to integrate diverse disciplines rekindles my creative capacity.

Researcher Q & A

Where are you from?

Tirunelveli, TamilNadu (A state in India where people speak world’s oldest language).

Why did you become a researcher?

I was amazed to see how a genetic material could be orchestrated to regenerate dinosaurs in the movie “Jurassic Park” and felt inspired to pursue a career in research.

What is your favorite experiment, theory, device, reagent, lab equipment? Why do you like it?

My favorite is `Game theory` because of its versatile application in wide-range of phenomenon including genetic and epigenetic codes. Since the status of all life systems depends upon the decisions they make at right place and time, this theory on strategic decision-making excites me and assists in gaining insights into disease and regulatory processes.

What is your hobby?

I refresh myself by playing chess. Even with restricted moves, this game (also an art) offers infinite possibilities and let my imagination soar. Also, it promotes my decision-making skills.

With SUE – the largest Tyrannosaurus rex in The Field Museum, Chicago, USA

Schematic representation of how our synthetic switches ON and OFF the target gene(s).