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 in 2004 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 in 2014 from the University of Delhi where he functionally characterized the rare and common variants of dopaminergic pathway genes associated with schizophrenia. He subsequently completed his postdoctoral training at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. While at SickKids, Dr. MichealRaj established patient derived disease models and unraveled the underlying disease mechanism, metabolic pathways that rewire the epigenetic landscape of lethal infantile ependymomas.

Dr. MichealRaj laboratory research goals are to use the cutting edge next-generation sequencing methods, molecular biology, and metabolomics to gain a fundamental understanding of brain tumor biology, with a primary focus on pediatric gliomas, ependymomas, and atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumor (ATRT). Specific aims are:

  1. Use next-generation multi-Omics profiling strategies to identify and validate novel molecular mechanisms in rare brain tumors and mechanisms of treatment resistance, 
  2. Advance our understanding of cancer metabolism by identifying the nutrient demands of the brain tumors, in order to uncover druggable metabolic targets, and
  3. Unravel the genetic, epigenetic, and metabolic vulnerabilities of childhood and adult brain tumors using advanced functional genomics approaches to pinpoint the novel and specific therapeutic options.

Our research group is looking for postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduate students for exciting research projects on cancer metabolism and genomics. Interested candidates should contact directly through micheala@pitt.edu.

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.

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

Honors & Awards

  • Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Fellowship, Government of Canada, 2018
  • Travel Grant, Department of Science and Technology, India, 2014
  • Travel Grant, Indian Council Medical Research, India, 2013
  • Senior Research Fellowship-Project, Department of Biotechnology, India, 2010
  • Junior Research Fellowship-Project, Department of Biotechnology, India, 2007
  • University Rank Holder (Top 10), Madurai Kamaraj University, India, 2014