Antony MichealRaj, PhD

  • Assistant Professor

Antony MichealRaj, PhD, joined the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurological Surgery in September of 2021.

Dr. MichealRaj graduated from the Madurai Kamaraj University  with a bachelor of science degree in zoology. He then earned his master of science degree in biotechnology in 2007 from the University of Madras and PhD in genetics  from the University of Delhi where he functionally characterized the rare and common variants of dopaminergic pathway genes associated with schizophrenia and other neurological disorders. He subsequently completed his postdoctoral training in neuro-oncology and tumor metabolism at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto. While at SickKids, Dr. MichealRaj studied molecular disease mechanisms of pediatric brain tumors ependymoma and medulloblastoma using clinically relevant disease models of patients and mouse models. Dr. MichealRaj’s independent research lab at University of Pittsburgh of School of Medicine is focused on unravelling molecular and metabolic dependency of pediatric brain tumors and their mechanistic role in tumor initiation, maintenance and recurrence/resistance

Dr. Michealraj’s publications can be reviewed through the National Library of Medicine's publication database.

Specialized Areas of Interest

Functional genomics and metabolism of pediatric and adolescent central nervous system tumors; ependymoma, medulloblastoma and DIPGs.

Professional Organization Membership

American Association for Cancer Research
Children's Brain Tumor Consortium
International Society of Pediatric Oncology
Society of Neuro-Oncology

Education & Training

  • BSc, Zoology, Madurai Kamaraj University, 2004
  • MSc, Biotechnology, Loyola College, University of Madras, 2007
  • PhD, Genetics, University of Delhi, 2014
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, 2021

Research Activities

Dr. MichealRaj’s Brain Tumor Metabolism and Functional Cancer Genomics Laboratory is exploring the underlying disease mechanism of pediatric brain tumors, with a specific interest in pediatric cancer stem cells, brain tumor metabolism and epigenetics and post transcriptional and translational regulation. 

His team is investigating the following major themes in pediatric ependymomas and gliomas; 1) functional cancer genomics using in vivo and In vitro CRISPR screens; 2) metabolic dependencies and epigenetic regulation in primary and recurrent tumors; 3) unraveling the crosstalk between cell signaling and epigenetics; and 4) mRNA regulation and translational control. 

Dr. MichealRaj’s team is using patient-derived disease models (cell lines, xenografts) and transgenic mouse models and cutting edge next-generation genomic technologies (bulk and single cell sequencing, ChIP seq, long read sequencing), metabolomics (total and targeted), genetic engineering tools (genome-wide and focused CRISPR screen) to advance our existing knowledge on pediatric brain tumors and probe novel therapeutic options