The Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine (inStem) is pleased to welcome Dr. Dhandapany Perundurai as the newest faculty member of the Centre for Cardiovascular Biology and Diseases (CCBD) group. Dr. Dhandapany received his doctoral degree from Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, where he worked on the molecular genetics of human inheritable cardiomyopathies. His work led to a landmark discovery in the field of cardiomyopathy research as he unraveled an ancient Myosin Binding Protein c3 (MYBPC3) gene deletion as a major risk factor for South Asians. To date, approximately 55 million people carry the heterozygous deletion. Dr. Dhandapany’s postdoctoral work at the Mount Sinai School Of Medicine, New York, led to another important finding – the discovery of the gene (RAF1) as a causal factor of dilated cardiomyopathy in children. He also explored the use of FDA-approved small molecule therapies for this condition in Drosophila, zebrafish and mouse models.
Dr. Dhandapany’s work at inStem will encompass a multi-disciplinary approach involving Next Generation Sequencing in identifying novel genes and the mechanistic bases of cardiomyopathies using various animal models. His future plans also include screening for new candidate therapeutics for cardiomyopathies from FDA-approved drugs using cardiomyocytes derived from patient specific human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs).