Meet Distinguished Scientist Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D.

January 16, 2015

Image with caption: Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D.

Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored Feb. 2 at a ceremony for UNMC's 2014 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Kaustubh Datta, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Joined UNMC: 2011
  • Hometown: Kolkata, India

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
Our research interest is to understand the molecular mechanisms driving the metastatic progression of cancer. We are specifically working on prostate and pancreatic cancers. Neuropilins are specific cell surface receptors, which are inappropriately activated in metastatic cancer cells. Our research has suggested that this axis is important for the metastatic progression of cancer and help them to recur after therapy.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Novel therapies are necessary to improve the treatment outcome of cancer patients with metastatic disease. Our studies on neuropilins indicated that they can be prognostic indicators for aggressive cancer. Neuropilins also are potential drug targets to treat metastatic disease.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
I always consider myself lucky to have great mentors who not only guided me to shape my professional career but also helped me to mature as a person. In one occasion I asked one of my mentors to help me to take a decision related to my career. I received this advice: "There is no right or wrong decision. There is decision A or decision B. You need to choose one and make it right."

List three things few people know about you.

  • I like to read non-fiction during my leisure time, especially on subjects related to art and history.
  • My favorite musical instrument is Santoor (a classical Indian string instrument).
  • Physics, not biology, was my favorite subject in school.

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