Dr Varun Sasidharan Nair gained his Master of Science degree in biochemistry from Bharathidasan University, India and Master of Technology degree in biotechnology from Satyabhama University, India. He achieved his PhD in Medical Science, Pathology from Hallym University, South Korea in 2015. In his thesis work, he investigated the epigenetic mechanism of FoxP3 in regulatory T cells. He worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Hallym University for 1 year and studied the maintenance of FoxP3 in induced Tregs by epigenetically modifying Treg specific demethylation region (TSDR) using Vitamin C. He then moved to United Arab Emirates University as a Post Doctoral Researcher under the supervision of Dr Eyad Elkord and continued his research to investigate the molecular mechanism behind the overexpression of immune checkpoints in tumor microenvironment. Dr Varun has recently joined QBRI as a postdoctoral scientist with Dr Elkord’s research group.
Dr. Varun’s research interests are in investigating tumor microenvironment and the epigenetic modifications behind the overexpression of immune checkpoints in various pathological conditions including breast and colorectal tumor microenvironment. In addition, he is investigating the role of STAT signaling pathways in the upregulation of PD-L1 in breast tumor cells.
Sasidharan Nair V, Haytham El Salhat, Anne John, Bassam R. Ali and Eyad Elkord (2018). Epigenetic modifications upregulate the immune checkpoint genes PD-1, CTLA-4, TIM-3 and LAG-3 in breast tumor tissues. (Submitted).
Varun Sasidharan Nair, Salman M. Toor, Bassam R. Ali and Eyad Elkord (2017). Dimerization of pSTAT1 and pSTAT3 leads to constitutive expression of PD-L1 and dual inhibition of STAT1 and STAT3 activation downregulates its expression in triple-negative breast cancer. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy. (in revison).
Varun Sasidharan Nair and Eyad Elkord (2017). Immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer therapy: A Focus on T regulatory cells. Immunology & Cell Biology 2017.
Varun Sasidharan Nair, Mi Hye Song and Kwon Ik Oh (2016). DNA Demethylation of the Foxp3 Enhancer Is Maintained through Modulation of Ten-Eleven-Translocation and DNA Methyltransferases. Mol Cells. 39 (12):888-897.
Mi Hye Song, Varun Sasidharan Nair and Kwon Ik Oh (2016). Vitamin C enhances the expression of IL17 in a Jmjd2-dependent manner.BMB Rep. pii: 3711.
Varun Sasidharan Nair, Mi Hye Song and Kwon Ik Oh (2016). Vitamin C Facilitates Demethylation of theFoxp3 Enhancer in a Tet-Dependent Manner. J Immunol; 196(5): 2119-31.
Varun Sasidharan Nair and Kwon Ik Oh (2014). Down-regulation of Tet2 prevents TSDR demethylation in IL2 deficient regulatory T cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun.; 450(1):918-24.