Ani Deshpande, Ph.D.

Ani Deshpande, Ph.D. headshot

Ani Deshpande, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Lab Website

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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SRX3177, a CDK4/6-PI3K-BET inhibitor, in combination with an RdRp inhibitor, Molnupiravir, or an entry inhibitor MU-UNMC-2, has potent antiviral activity against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Pandey K, Acharya A, Pal D, Jain P, Singh K, Durden DL, Kutateladze TG, Deshpande AJ, Byrareddy SN

Antiviral Res 2024 May 8 ;227:105904

Connie J. Eaves (1944-2024).

Kannan N, Deshpande AJ

Nat Rev Cancer 2024 May 2 ;

Structural variants involving MLLT10 fusion are associated with adverse outcomes in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.

Abla O, Ries RE, Triche T Jr, Gerbing RB, Hirsch B, Raimondi S, Cooper T, Farrar JE, Buteyn N, Harmon LM, Wen H, Deshpande AJ, Kolb EA, Gamis AS, Aplenc R, Alonzo T, Meshinchi S

Blood Adv 2024 Apr 23 ;8(8):2005-2017

Immunoproteasome function maintains oncogenic gene expression in KMT2A-complex driven leukemia.

Tubío-Santamaría N, Jayavelu AK, Schnoeder TM, Eifert T, Hsu CJ, Perner F, Zhang Q, Wenge DV, Hansen FM, Kirkpatrick JM, Jyotsana N, Lane SW, von Eyss B, Deshpande AJ, Kühn MWM, Schwaller J, Cammann C, Seifert U, Ebstein F, Krüger E, Hochhaus A, Heuser M, Ori A, Mann M, Armstrong SA, Heidel FH

Mol Cancer 2023 Dec 4 ;22(1):196

Transcriptional control of leukemogenesis by the chromatin reader SGF29.

Barbosa K, Deshpande A, Perales M, Xiang P, Murad R, Pramod AB, Minkina A, Robertson N, Schischlik F, Lei X, Sun Y, Brown A, Amend D, Jeremias I, Doench JG, Humphries RK, Ruppin E, Shendure J, Mali P, Adams PD, Deshpande AJ

Blood 2024 Feb 22 ;143(8):697-712

DOT1L interaction partner AF10 controls patterning of H3K79 methylation and RNA polymerase II to maintain cell identity.

Wille CK, Neumann EN, Deshpande AJ, Sridharan R

Stem Cell Reports 2023 Dec 12 ;18(12):2451-2463

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