Aniruddha (Ani) Deshpande is an Assistant Professor at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in La Jolla, California. The primary focus of Dr. Deshpande’s research interest is to identify novel epigenetic vulnerabilities in hematological malignancies that can lead to targeted chromatin-based therapies. As a part of a team led by Dr. Scott Armstrong at the Children’s Hospital Boston/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Deshpande and his colleagues identified the DOT1L complex as a non-oncogenic epigenetic dependency in AML with rearrangements of the KMT2A/MLL gene. An important discovery in these studies was the observation that the DOT1L/AF10 complex is an actionable target in other AML subtypes driven by elevated homeobox gene expression. These findings substantially broadened the scope of DOT1L inhibitors – currently in clinical trials – beyond KMT2A/MLL rearranged AML and provided a rationale for testing the activity of DOT1L inhibitors in other malignancies.
Ani Deshpande has recently started his lab in La Jolla where he continues to focus on the identification of novel epigenetic vulnerabilities in cancer using genetic, biochemical, and epigenomic studies, combined with high-throughput drug library screens.
Ani's research efforts are funded by the National Institutes of Health Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00), the American Society of Hematology Junior Faculty Scholar Award, the V-Foundation Award for Cancer Research and other competitive intra-institutional research grants.