Sukhwinder Kaur

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


DRC1, Room 7044
Phone: 402-559-7072
Fax: 402-559-6650

PhD, ImTech, India, 2008Ph.D., IMTECH, Chandigarh (JNU), INDIA, 2009

Research Interest

Research Summary

Lethality of disease is dictated by its stage at the time of diagnosis. Development of a combinatorial signature along with ultrasensitive technologies for marker detection is key to improved diagnosis and prognosis. My studies focus on developing a combined diagnostic and prognostic panel, utilizing disease associated altered gene, protein, metabolic, and exosomal signatures. We are using machine learning based AI approaches for biomarker discovery that provide high accuracy to diagnose early stages of disease. While working on biomarkers, we observed specific elevation of the megadalton glycoprotein MUC5AC in early stage disease. Further, the elevation of MUC5AC was stage and metastasis-specific, throughout PC progression. Using a comprehensive serum set (N=922), we demonstrated that MUC5AC is present at high levels in the blood of pancreatic cancer patients and has high potential as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in combination with CA19.9. Further, we identified a combination of MUC4, MUC5AC, and CA19.9 for early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Next, we are focusing on developing sensitive technologies (Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy) to detect this multi-marker panel.

The other focus of my research involves delineating molecular mechanisms of oncogenic signaling by differentially expressed biomarkers in the progression and metastasis of various malignancies. MUC5AC de-novo expression is common across all types of malignant precursor lesions of PC, and its knockdown significantly reduced tumorigenesis and metastasis in orthotopic mouse models.  In a genetically engineered mouse model (GEMM) of PC progression, MUC5AC knockout significantly reduced the development of invasive precursor lesions in conjunction with altered matrix stiffness. We are focusing on delineating the functional significance of MUC5AC on tumor progression, metastasis, and chemoresistance. Currently, studies focuses on:


My Publications