Bikash Ranjan Samal
Doctoral student – Lab of Translational Oncogenomics and Bioinformatics (TOBI), Lab for Computational Biology, Integromics and Gene Regulation (CBIGR)
CMGG, UZ Gent
Department of Biomolecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UGent
Principal investigators: prof. Katleen De Preter (PhD) & prof. Vanessa Vermeirssen (PhD)
Neuroblastoma is the third-most common cancer in children after leukemia and brain cancer. About 15% of childhood cancer deaths are due to neuroblastoma. Despite intensive therapies, half of the high-risk neuroblastoma patients cannot be cured effectively. This happens mostly because of intratumor heterogeneity in which some of the cells within the tumor do not respond to the drug, resulting in disease relapse.
One goal of my research is to build a novel, computational pipeline that will allow prediction of drug targets for high-risk cancer patients, such as neuroblastoma, using visible machine learning approaches on genome and transcriptome data, at bulk and single cell level, which will tease out the functional pathways, key drivers and drug synergisms. Another goal of my research is to contribute to high-risk cancer diagnosis and follow-up by implementing computational pipelines for effective characterization of nucleic acid marks in liquid biopsies, enabling to study spatial and temporal tumor heterogeneity on a global scale.
In conclusion, my research will offer novel opportunities towards more effective precision oncology that targets all present subclones and cell-states in the tumor using (combined) drugging.
- In 2019, I obtained my Master’s Degree from IIT Kharagpur. The title of my thesis project was “Reconstruction and analysis of gene regulatory network for intrinsic subtypes of breast cancer”.
- In 2019, I joined as a Study Engineer at BRS Lab, MICALIS Institute, INRAe Jouy-en-Josas. I worked there for a period of 1+ years. My research was focused on using artificial intelligence to predict the feasibility of novel biochemical reactions.
- In October 2020, I joined UGent as a doctoral student under joint supervision of Prof. Katleen De Preter and Prof. Vanessa Vermeirssen.