Principal Investigator, Rutherford Discovery Fellow
Aniruddha is originally from Berhampore, West Bengal (India), where he completed his schooling. He moved to the southern part of India and completed a BSc (Osmania University, Hyderabad) and MSc degree (VIT University, Vellore) in Biotechnology with first class and distinction. Following this, Aniruddha came to the University of Otago in New Zealand in 2009, where he commenced his PhD. In his doctoral work, he mapped whole-genome scale DNA methylation patterns and variation in normal human neutrophil cells. Aniruddha played a leading role in performing the first reduced representation methylation sequencing in human neutrophils, melanoma, and the model organism zebrafish. He also heavily published in methodology development for DNA methylation and microRNA analysis. In 2017 he was awarded the prestigious Rutherford Discovery Fellowship from the Royal Society of New Zealand to establish this Epigenetics, Disease, and Phenotype Laboratory (EDP). Outside of work he enjoys dancing, acting, sports, travelling, and music.
Aniruddha welcomes enquiries about opportunities to study or work in the Chatterjee Laboratory.
Co-Principal Investigator, Senior Research Fellow
After completing his PhD in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago, Euan moved across campus to Pathology where he is now co-principal investigator in the Chatterjee laboratory. He is currently involved in projects using genomic/epigenomic methods in several different contexts, including: identification of novel candidate biomarkers and drug targets for colorectal, prostate and lung cancer; profiling of circulating tumour DNA to monitor disease burden in cancer patients; DNA methylation analysis of microdissected tumour regions and isolated cell subsets and mapping the methylome of patients with cancers to develop blood-based diagnostic tools. Outside the lab Euan enjoys spending time with his family, painting, gardening, and listening to music.
Profile: Dr Euan Rodger
Peter's PhD from the Biochemistry Department was one of the earliest to concentrate on computational rather than laboratory bench work. Throughout his career he has collaborated with lab workers to resolve problems requiring computational solutions, often by programming for the computing resources of the time. Work has extended from the earliest times of DNA sequencing through to the present Next Generation Sequencing technologies. An extensive collaboration with Aniruddha led to development of DMAP (Differential Methylation Analysis Package), a set of tools which have been widely applied to other projects.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Suzan completed her PhD investigating the placental epigenomics from pregnancies complicated by pre-eclampsia (a maternal hypertensive disorder), with a special interest in identifying novel biomarkers capable of detecting women at high risk. She developed approaches to non-invasive prenatal diagnostics with cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma. Suzan also has an interest in data visualisation and R programming. When not in front of the computer, she enjoys reading, painting, listening to music, and expanding her cooking recipe repertoire.
Sai completed his Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from St Joseph's College, Bangalore in 2008 and his Master's degree in Biochemistry from Dr. G R Damodaran College of Science, Coimbatore in 2010. From Jan 2011–July 2011, he worked at Connexios Life Sciences where he was involved in maintenance of different animal cell lines. After this he worked at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore on the project entitled Preclinical Studies on Brain tumours: Combination of Adjuvants with Different Mechanisms of Radio-sensitization for 4 years. His interest and desire to work in cancer led him to find a PhD position in the Chatterjee lab where he is working on epigenetics of colorectal cancer. Outside of research Sai loves to listen to music and play outdoor sports, mainly football.
Priya completed her Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in biological science and applied statistics from the University of Auckland. After completing her Bachelor's degree, she was awarded a Summer Research Scholarship to work in the kauri dieback research project at Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research. She completed a Master of Science (research) in molecular genetics with First Class Honours from the Auckland University of Technology. Her passion for cancer research, particularly in molecular genetics and bioinformatics based research inspired her to do a PhD. Currently, she is pursuing a PhD in colorectal cancer epigenetics research and is working in the Chatterjee lab. In her spare time, Priya likes to play badminton and do outdoor activities.
Rakesh completed his Bachelor's degree in Microbiology from the University of Calcutta in 2015 and his Master's degree in Microbiology from Pondicherry University in 2017. After this, Rakesh worked as an R&D intern at Biocon Research Centre (Biocon Pharmaceuticals), Bangalore, and as a Research Associate at GROW Research Laboratory, Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore. In his Research Associate role, he was part of an interesting project dealing with ocular gene therapy. He was primarily involved in production of rAAV vectors for gene therapy of different ocular diseases. In addition to contributing towards the establishment of a vector core facility, he worked on understanding gain and loss of functions of different genes in the aspects of disease pathology. His passion and desire to work with molecular biology and epigenetics led him to commence a PhD in the Chatterjee Lab, where he is investigating the role of DNA methylation and CRISPR specific targeting mechanisms in melanoma. Outside research, Rakesh enjoys cooking, dancing, travelling and listening to music.
Morgan (Ngāi Tahu) completed his Bachelor's degree in Microbiology and Genetics from The University of Otago in 2015 and his Master's degree from The University of Otago in 2018. His drive and desire to study epigenetics led him to start a PhD in the Chatterjee lab, looking at epigenetic predictor markers of cancer metastasis through liquid biopsies. Outside of research Morgan enjoys swimming, reading and playing board games with friends.
Nick completed his BSc(Hons) in 2021 with the Chatterjee lab. He is now pursuing a PhD, developing a CRISPR methylation-editing screen to help identify epigenetic drivers of tumour metastasis. Outside of research Nick enjoys eating Sai's cooking and attempting to keep fit.
(co-supervision with Associate Professor Matthew Parry)
Maryam received her Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering - Software from Sajjad University, Mashhad, Iran, in 2008, and her Master's degree in Computer Engineering - Artificial Intelligence from Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch Tehran, Tehran, Iran, in 2013. After her graduation, she was employed as a bioinformatician to investigate the cell-free DNA methylation status of plasma and tissue samples in order to develop a DNA methylation test for early detection of colorectal cancer by liquid biopsy in the cancer genetic research laboratory, Reza Radiotherapy and Oncology Center, Iran. Her current research interests include computational cancer genomics, bioinformatics, machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence. The goal of her PhD research is to find innovative statistical and computational solutions to problems in cancer diagnosis using cell-free DNA methylation sequencing data, which is emerging as a novel noninvasive cancer detection method.
Mark completed his BSc (Hons) and MSc in Medical Laboratory Science (Clinical Chemistry) at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He was awarded the Commonwealth Scholarship in 2018 to pursue an MSc in Forensic Science at the University of Kent, UK. His interest in epigenetics led him to start a PhD in the Chatterjee lab where he aims to identify cell-free DNA (cfDNA) signatures to improve lung cancer screening. Outside of research, you will almost always find Mark playing chess or the acoustic guitar.
Bayley grew up in Taranaki and moved to Otago in 2019 to study a BAppSci, majoring in molecular biotechnology. She developed a keen interest in DNA methylation through the Genetics program, and is now pursuing a PhD in the Chatterjee Lab. Her research is focussed on developing DNA methylation-based biomarkers from tumour DNA in blood for the detection of colorectal cancer. Outside of research, Bayley enjoys playing social sports and hanging out with friends.
Atreyi completed her Integrated Master’s in Biotechnology in 2021 from St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Kolkata. She did her Master’s dissertation from the Department of Biochemistry, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. After this she joined as an intern and subsequently as a Research Assistant in Tata Translational Cancer Research Centre (TTCRC) in Kolkata. During her time in TTCRC, she worked in the Minimal Residual Disease group wherein her project was focused on determining the residual leukemic cells in different stages of treatment in patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Her fascination towards epigenetics had taken a root during her college courses and her work with cancer patients piqued her interest in the field of oncology. In the Chatterjee lab, Atreyi wants to identify epigenetic biomarkers from cfDNA of prostate cancer patients to allow for a less invasive method for prostate cancer diagnosis. In her spare time, Atreyi loves reading books, listening to music, watching movies and hanging out with friends.
Hannah grew up in Tauranga but ventured to Otago to complete a biomedical science degree. Epigenetics always stood out to her during the many aspects of genetics that were covered in the degree, leading her to join the Chatterjee Lab group working on single-cell methylation in colorectal cancer cells. In her spare time she enjoys going to the beach, doing scenic walks, and spending time with friends.
Originally from Christchurch, Mia (Ngāi Tahu) grew up in Adelaide, Australia and decided to move to Dunedin where she completed her BSc majoring in Genetics at the University of Otago. Here she developed a particular interest in human genetics and the growing field of clinical research focusing on mutation and epigenetic modifications that cause disease. In the Chatterjee lab she will be working on the development of a method to identify cell-free DNA biomarkers that will aim to improve current lung cancer screening particularly for early detection. Outside of studying and working she enjoys tennis, knitting and spending time with friends.
Janhavi is originally from Mauritius and came to NZ in 2018 to do a BSc in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Waikato in Hamilton. After graduating in 2021, she worked at the Waikato Hospital as a medical laboratory technician for a year. She then decided to pursue a Master's degree in the Chatterjee lab to have hands-on research experience with the CRISPR/Cas9 methylation editing system. She is currently working with Nicholas Keestra on a research project to investigate whether replacing an unmethylated promoter sequence with a methylated promoter sequence represses transcription and vice-versa. Outside of research, she likes to spend time with her friends and family.
Teresa Julia Stilianu
Teresa is originally from Austria and came to New Zealand in 2023 to conduct her master’s project in the Chatterjee laboratory at the Department of Pathology. Teresa graduated from the University of Applied Sciences of Vienna in 2021 with a Bachelor in Biomedical Science and continued with a Master in Molecular Biotechnology at the same University. Since her bachelor’s, Teresa is specialising in epigenetics and cancer research. Within her master’s project, Teresa is establishing a PCR-based method for screening of epigenetic tumour biomarkers for a clinical setting. Outside of the lab, Teresa enjoys doing sports, traveling, listening to music and spending time with friends.
Medical Research Scholar
Eddie (Ngāti Toa Rangatira) completed a Bachelor of Sciences (Hons) majoring in Neuroscience at the University of Otago in 2019, and is now studying Medicine. His interest in cancer epigenetics led him to apply for a Dean's Medical Student Research Scholarship, working on single-cell methylation research in circulating tumour cells via liquid biopsy. Outside of study, Eddie enjoys music, sport, and keeping fit.
- Dr Jim Smith, Honorary Research Fellow
- Dr Guiqin Huo, Visiting Faculty 2023
- Dr Mehbuba Hossain, PhD (co-supervision with Eccles lab) 2019-2023
- Dr Emma Wilkinson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow 2022-2023
- Maggie Zhang, BMedSc(Hons) 2022
- Aby George, BSc(Hons) 2022
- Alex Turner, BBiomedSc(Hons) 2022
- Natasha Windmeyer, PGDipHealSc (Genetics) 2021-2022
- Reema Waly, BBiomedSc(Hons) and Research Assistant 2020-2021
- Frankie Day, BSc(Hons) 2020
- Dr Antonio Ahn, PhD (co-supervision with Eccles lab) 2017-2020
- Arthur Urbano, BBiomedSc(Hons) 2019
- Dr Jim Smith, BMedSc(Hons) student 2018
- Anna Leichter, Assistant Research Fellow 2017-2018
- James Wright, Internship, Cardiff University UK (co-supervision with Eccles lab) 2017