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Dr. Nikhil Patkar

Clinician Scientist & Professor

Research Interests

The Molecular Haematology Laboratory works on translational research pertaining to blood cancers. We focus on development of novel (mostly next generation) sequencing techniques that can be used for diagnosis, prognostication and monitoring of patients with blood cancers. We also develop high throughput bioinformatics tools and analytical pipelines that can help in analysis and visualization of genome sequencing data.


Integrated Genomic Profiling of Blood Cancers: We are currently involved in comprehensive genomic characterization of large cohorts of patients with acute myeloid leukemia as well as acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Through these datasets we are identifying key driver mutations as well as chimeric fusions involved in leukemogenesis. We are then developing a systems medicine approach evaluate their relevance on disease outcome. We collaborate with adult and pediatric hematolymphoid disease management groups at the Tata Memorial Centre for these studies.

Development of Ultradeep Sequencing Methods to detect Measurable Residual Disease: A major strength of our laboratory is measurement of MRD in acute as well as chronic (myeloid as well as lymphoid) leukemia to assess response to chemotherapy. Unfortunately, MRD assessment by flow cytometry is not perfect and suffers from low sensitivity as well as specificity in some cases. We are currently validating error corrected sequencing methods to detect MRD in AML by tracking sequence variants on genomic DNA as well as chimeric fusions. These are being tested on well characterized clinical cohorts for meaningful interpretation.

Germline Predisposition to Blood Cancers: Myeloid Neoplasms with Germline Predisposition is a newly recognized entity in the recent World Health Classification of Tumors of Haematopoetic and Lymphoid Tissue (2017). There is a paucity of data with regards to the prevalence these disorders in the Indian population. We are using a genomics driven approach to identify patients with these conditions.

Cost effective next generation sequencing based diagnostics: Majority of the patients in India who suffer from blood cancers find next generation sequencing based laboratory tests unaffordable. Our laboratory has developed several techniques for cost effective next generation sequencing based gene panels for detection of somatic mutations using genomic DNA as well as detection of chimeric fusion sequences using RNA. We develop these techniques as well as validate them to develop cost effective assays.

Ongoing Research Projects

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    Acute Myeloid Leukemia and the Dynamics of Relapse: This project is funded by the…

    Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer. Even though patients get the same treatment, some get cu… more

Lab Members



Office Contact

Dr. Nikhil Patkar

Advance Centre for Treatment Research & Education in Cancer, Tata Memorial Centre, (ACTREC), Plot No. 1 & 2, Sector 22, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai-410210. Maharashtra India.+91 (022) 2740 5000/ 6873 5000 Lab Website
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