Maintenance of active chromatin states in early Xenopus laevis embryos

Supervisor: Dr. Eva Hörmanseder

Enrolled since 2020

I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees through an integrated BS-MS program in the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata, India in 2020. Intrigued by the influence epigenetics has on gene expression and cellular differentiation, I pursued my master’s thesis in the group of Dr. Sanjeev Galande in IISER Pune (2019-2020). I worked on studying the effect of the chromatin organizer Satb2 as a gatekeeper of zygotic genome activation in zebrafish embryogenesis. It was there that I was introduced to the world of developmental epigenetics.

I joined Dr. Eva Hörmanseder's lab as a PhD student in the Institute of Epigenetics and Stem Cells in November, 2020. Our lab works on cell fate reprogramming using somatic cell nuclear transfer, and the epigenetic factors that contribute to its resistance. I am investigating how the mechanisms of maintenance of active chromatin marks in early embryos, which aid in stabilization of cell fate, may be similar to the processes that contribute to reprogramming resistance. As a group, we hope to gain insight into the epigenetic mechanisms that stabilize cell fates and consequently, better understand the barriers to cell fate reprogramming.


  • Oak MS, Hörmanseder E. Using Xenopus to Understand Pluripotency and to Reprogram Cells for Therapeutic Use. InXenopus (pp. 325-335). CRC Press.
  • Saurabh J. Pradhan; Puli Chandramouli Reddy; Michael Smutny; Ankita Sharma; Keisuke Sako; Meghana S. Oak; Rini Shah; Mrinmoy Pal; Ojas Deshpande; Yin Tang et al. Satb2 acts as a gatekeeper for major developmental transitions during early vertebrate embryogenesis. Nature communications, 12(1), 6094.