Ramesh Yelagandula received his Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore in 2014. During his doctoral studies, he conducted research in the lab of Dr. Frederic Berger at Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, where he focused on understanding the role of histone variants in genome organization and gene regulation. One of his major accomplishments during this time was the identification and elucidation of the molecular function of the histone H2A variant, H2A.W, in heterochromatin organization. For his postdoctoral research, Dr. Ramesh Yelagandula was awarded an EMBO Long-Term fellowship and moved to the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria, where he worked in the labs of Dr. Oliver Bell and Dr. Julius Brennecke. During this time, he investigated the role of epigenetic mechanisms in the silencing of lineage non-specific genes during neuronal differentiation. He uncovered the molecular function of ZFP462, a sequence-specific transcription factor responsible for targeting heterochromatin to cell fate controlling enhancer sequences. Notably, its human homolog, ZNF462, is associated with Weiss-Kruszka Syndrome, a complex neurodevelopmental disorder linked to Autism.
Dr. Ramesh Yelagandula joined CDFD as a group leader in April 2023, where he continues his research on uncovering mechanisms that target heterochromatin to gene regulatory sequences that control cell fate specification. In addition, he is particularly interested in research that provides mechanistic insights into etiology of disease. To achieve this, he employs a variety of advanced tools and methods, including stem cells, mammalian cell engineering using CRISPR-Cas9, chromatin profiling, and functional genomics approaches.