• Undergraduate

Samhitha Raj

Faculty Member in Integrated Sciences

Email: samhitha.raj@fulbright.edu.vn 

Fields of Interest: Epigenetic regulation of brain development, with a focus on the role of Thyroid hormone-mediated DNA demethylation  

Education: Ph.D. 2018, University of Michigan, USA

Bio:  

Samhitha is a molecular and developmental biologist and teaches several biological courses, including introductory biology and courses relating to the biology of infectious diseases, with an aim to provide students with the skills to apply a scientific outlook in everyday life. 

After receiving her BEng in Biotechnology in from SJ College of Engineering, Samhitha attended the University of Michigan, where she earned her Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. Her research focuses on the understanding of gene regulation during postembryonic brain development invertebrates. Her work expanded on global and locus-specific DNA demethylation patterns during post-embryonic brain development in the Xenopus tadpole brain and thyroid hormone-mediated induction of genes encoding enzymes that catalyze DNA demethylation.  

Samhitha Raj is a proponent of scientific outreach, equity in education, and diversity in the sciences. She has worked on developing portable biology courses for several institutions that better equip students underrepresented in the sciences by providing them access to research and enabling them to succeed in the field of biology. This remains a key interest of hers. 

Courses: 

  • Introductory Biology 
  • The Biology of Infection Diseases 
  • Logic and Limitations 
  • Scientific Inquiry 
  • Cell: Knowing Their Destinies 

Select Publications:  

Raj, Samhitha, Yasuhiro Kyono, Christopher J Sifuentes, Elvira del Arellanes-Licea, Arasakumar Subramani, and Robert J Denver. “Thyroid Hormone Induces DNA Demethylation in Xenopus Tadpole Brain.” Endocrinology 161, no. 11 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1210/endocr/bqaa155 

Kyono, Yasuhiro, Samhitha Raj, Christopher J. Sifuentes, Nicolas Buisine, Laurent Sachs, and Robert J. Denver. “DNA Methylation Dynamics Underlie Metamorphic Gene Regulation Programs in Xenopus Tadpole Brain.” Developmental Biology 462, no. 2 (2020): 180–96. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.03.013 

Pinskey, Justine M., Eden A. Dulka, Andrea I. Ramos, Martha L. Echevarría-Andino, David S. Lorberbaum, Brandon S. Carpenter, Jorge Y. Martinez-Marquez, et al. “Developing Future Biologists: Creating and Assessing a Portable Short Course to Engage Underrepresented Undergraduate Students in Developmental Biology,” 2018. https://doi.org/10.1101/467092 

Bagamasbad, Pia D., Ronald M. Bonett, Laurent Sachs, Nicolas Buisine, Samhitha Raj, Joseph R. Knoedler, Yasuhiro Kyono, Yijun Ruan, Xiaoan Ruan, and Robert J. Denver. “Deciphering the Regulatory Logic of an Ancient, Ultraconserved Nuclear Receptor Enhancer Module.” Molecular Endocrinology 29, no. 6 (2015): 856–72. https://doi.org/10.1210/me.2014-1349 

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