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Shashank Gandhi, Ph.D.

I completed my Ph.D. in Developmental Biology in Dr. Marianne Bronner's lab at the California Institute of Technology, where I studied how a stem cell-like population called the cardiac neural crest contributes to proper heart development. I am a member of the 2021 cohort of Schmidt Science Fellows, and an incoming Miller Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley (Class of 2021-2024). 

Research Interests

In humans, the heart is the first functional organ to form, beginning as a tube that beats and circulates blood, followed by rearrangements that transform the single-chambered tube into a four-chambered organ. Genetic errors in this intricate process can lead to severe congenital heart defects, which are the most common birth defects in humans. Several of these defects result from abnormalities in an embryonic stem cell population called the neural crest. I am interested in employing a multi-modal approach towards uncovering the genetic circuitry that controls neural crest differentiation into muscular tissue of the heart, focusing on the evolution, septation, and morphogenesis of the outflow tract. 

Publications

Gandhi, S. et al. (2021). A single-plasmid approach for genome editing coupled with long-term lineage analysis in chick embryos. Development 148 (7).

Gandhi, S. et al. (2020). Bimodal function of chromatin remodeler Hmga1 in neural crest induction and Wnt-dependent emigration. eLife 2020;9:e57779. 

Gandhi, S. et al. (2020). Reprogramming neural crest cell identity to rescue congenital heart defects. Developmental Cell, 53 (3), 300-315.e4.

Gandhi, S. et al. (2017). Optimization of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing for loss-of-function in the early chick embryo. Developmental Biology, 432 (1), 86-91.