Ani Deshpande, Ph.D.

Ani Deshpande's Research Focus

Cancer, Leukemia/Lymphoma

One of the core interests of the lab is to understand regulation of key developmental processes that are important for normal stem cells and are frequently misregulated in human cancer. We are currently investigating genetic and epigenetic abnormalities in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) using mouse models, gene targeting and genome-scale approaches. Our overarching goal is to uncover therapeutic nodes of intervention in human leukemia.

Available Positions in the Deshpande Lab

We are seeking exceptional candidates with broad interests/expertise in cancer epigenetics and stem cell biology at the level of postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates. 

Ani Deshpande's Research Report

Normal and malignant stem cells: One of the core interests of the lab is to investigate the role of chromatin regulators in benign and malignant hematopoiesis. Several attributes of normal stem cells such as the ability to self-renew are co-opted or reactivated by cancer cells on their way to malignant transformation. We are interested in characterizing the molecular determinants of “stemness” using hematopoietic stem cells as a model and in identifying ways and means by which these stem-cell associated pathways are usurped for oncogenesis. 

The leukemia epigenome: Abnormal epigenetic changes have emerged as important mediators of oncogenesis. Genomic investigations of human cancer have uncovered mutations in writers, erasers and readers of the histone code. The goal of our laboratory is to connect basic mechanisms of chromatin regulation to diseased states with a focus on Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Ultimately, we are interested in the rational design of screens to develop therapeutics targeting dysregulated epigenetic mechanisms in AML. 

Chromosomal translocations in cancer: Ever since the discovery of the Philadelphia chromosome in 1960, a number of different chromosomal translocations have been identified in human cancer that result in the formation of potent fusion oncogenes, abnormal activation of latent proto-oncogenes, or other oncogenic events. We are very interested in investigating the impact of chromosomal translocations on the development of human cancer. Moreover, we are also interested in understanding the propensity of certain genomic loci for recurrent involvement in oncogenic chromosomal translocation events in the context of human myeloid malignancies.

Ani Deshpande's Bio

Dr. Ani Deshpande's most recent position was as an Instructor with Dr. Scott Armstrong at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School. He completed his Ph.D. in Human Biology from the Ludwig Maximillians University in Munich. Dr. Deshpande's research revolves around studying difficult-to-cure leukemias through the use of mouse models, genomic and epigenomic studies.

Funding Awards and Collaborative Grants

Ongoing Research Support R00 phase (number in process) Deshpande (PI) 10/0/14-present NIH/NCI – K99/R00 Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award Role: PI (75% effort) Completed Research Support K99 CA154880 Deshpande (PI) 07/15/11-09/30/14 NIH/NCI – K99/R00 Howard Temin Pathway to Independence Award Role: Post-doctoral fellow/PI

Honors and Recognition

2014: American Society of Hematology Scholar Award (ASH Junior Faculty Scholar Award)
2013: Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Travel Award for the FASEB Hematological Malignancies Meeting in Vermont, VA
2013: Abstract Achievement Award, American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, New Orleans
2012: Abstract Achievement Award, American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting, Atlanta
2008: ASH Travel Award: 50th Annual Meeting, American Society of Hematology (ASH) San Diego
2008: The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Travel Grant, International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), Philadelphia
2007: The George Brecher New Investigator Award (postdoctoral) of the International Society of Experimental Hematology, Hamburg, Germany
2007: Doctoral prize of the German Society of Hematology and Oncology (Annual prize for the best doctoral thesis in hematology-oncology in Germany)
2007: The Doctoral Prize of the Helmholtz Centre, Munich for the Best Doctoral Thesis 2006, Munich, Germany
2007: Best Poster Award (2nd Prize): 36th Annual Scientific Meeting, International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH) Hamburg 
2007: Travel Award: 36th Annual Scientific Meeting, International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH) Hamburg
2006: Summa Cum Laude Ludwigs Maximililans University, Munich, Germany
2005: ISEH Travel Grant: 34th Annual Scientific Meeting, International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH) Glasgow
2004: ISEH Travel Grant: 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, International Society for Experimental Hematology (ISEH) New Orleans
2003: ASH Travel Award: 45th Annual Meeting, American Society of Hematology (ASH) San Diego

TIM Accessory


DOT1L inhibits SIRT1-mediated epigenetic silencing to maintain leukemic gene expression in MLL-rearranged leukemia.

Chen CW, Koche RP, Sinha AU, Deshpande AJ, Zhu N, Eng R, Doench JG, Xu H, Chu SH, Qi J, Wang X, Delaney C, Bernt KM, Root DE, Hahn WC, Bradner JE, Armstrong SA

Nat Med 2015 Apr ;21(4):335-43

Chromatin modifications as therapeutic targets in MLL-rearranged leukemia.

Deshpande AJ, Bradner J, Armstrong SA

Trends Immunol 2012 Nov ;33(11):563-70

Leukemic transformation by the MLL-AF6 fusion oncogene requires the H3K79 methyltransferase Dot1l.

Deshpande AJ, Chen L, Fazio M, Sinha AU, Bernt KM, Banka D, Dias S, Chang J, Olhava EJ, Daigle SR, Richon VM, Pollock RM, Armstrong SA

Blood 2013 Mar 28 ;121(13):2533-41

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The ubiquitin ligase RNF5 determines acute myeloid leukemia growth and susceptibility to histone deacetylase inhibitors.

Khateb A, Deshpande A, Feng Y, Finlay D, Lee JS, Lazar I, Fabre B, Li Y, Fujita Y, Zhang T, Yin J, Pass I, Livneh I, Jeremias I, Burian C, Mason JR, Almog R, Horesh N, Ofran Y, Brown K, Vuori K, Jackson M, Ruppin E, Deshpande AJ, Ronai ZA

Nat Commun 2021 Sep 13 ;12(1):5397

The role of the PZP domain of AF10 in acute leukemia driven by AF10 translocations.

Klein BJ, Deshpande A, Cox KL, Xuan F, Zandian M, Barbosa K, Khanal S, Tong Q, Zhang Y, Zhang P, Sinha A, Bohlander SK, Shi X, Wen H, Poirier MG, Deshpande AJ, Kutateladze TG

Nat Commun 2021 Jul 5 ;12(1):4130

A JAK/STAT-mediated inflammatory signaling cascade drives oncogenesis in AF10-rearranged AML.

Chen BR, Deshpande A, Barbosa K, Kleppe M, Lei X, Yeddula N, Vela PS, Campos AR, Wechsler-Reya RJ, Bagchi A, Meshinchi S, Eaves C, Jeremias I, Haferlach T, Frank DA, Ronai Z, Chanda S, Armstrong SA, Adams PD, Levine RL, Deshpande AJ

Blood 2021 Jun 17 ;137(24):3403-3415

Loss of HIF1A From Pancreatic Cancer Cells Increases Expression of PPP1R1B and Degradation of p53 to Promote Invasion and Metastasis.

Tiwari A, Tashiro K, Dixit A, Soni A, Vogel K, Hall B, Shafqat I, Slaughter J, Param N, Le A, Saunders E, Paithane U, Garcia G, Campos AR, Zettervall J, Carlson M, Starr TK, Marahrens Y, Deshpande AJ, Commisso C, Provenzano PP, Bagchi A

Gastroenterology 2020 Nov ;159(5):1882-1897.e5

Specific patterns of H3K79 methylation influence genetic interaction of oncogenes in AML.

Kingsley MC, Xie HM, Chen BR, Riedel SS, Pastuer T, Bollig MK, Shank T, Libbrecht C, Stabler SP, Deshpande AJ, Intlekofer AM, Bernt KM

Blood Adv 2020 Jul 14 ;4(13):3109-3122

Tumor necrosis factor overcomes immune evasion in p53-mutant medulloblastoma.

Garancher A, Suzuki H, Haricharan S, Chau LQ, Masihi MB, Rusert JM, Norris PS, Carrette F, Romero MM, Morrissy SA, Skowron P, Cavalli FMG, Farooq H, Ramaswamy V, Jones SJM, Moore RA, Mungall AJ, Ma Y, Thiessen N, Li Y, Morcavallo A, Qi L, Kogiso M, Du Y, Baxter P, Henderson JJ, Crawford JR, Levy ML, Olson JM, Cho YJ, Deshpande AJ, Li XN, Chesler L, Marra MA, Wajant H, Becher OJ, Bradley LM, Ware CF, Taylor MD, Wechsler-Reya RJ

Nat Neurosci 2020 Jul ;23(7):842-853

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