General Research Interest Dr. Kumar’s laboratory is engaged in researching the biology of infant leukemia. Discoveries made in his laboratory have significantly enhanced the current understanding of leukemia.
Research DescriptionDr. Kumar's lab is studying the biology of infant-leukemia to identify novel therapeutic approaches to treat this disease. Infants with leukemia face an exceptionally grim prognosis because the pathogenesis of the disease is different than that seen in older children. Majority of leukemia in infants involve translocations of the MLL gene on chromosome 11q23. The lab is studying experimental models of MLL-rearranged leukemia in the laboratory to discover biological pathways that are dysregulated in the leukemic cells. In knock-in MLL-AF9 mice, we have identified several genes that are abnormally upregulated in hematopoietic cells compared to corresponding wild type cells. These genes and pathways are also up-regulated in leukemia cells of human patients. The lab is now studying the role of these activated genes in the pathogenesis of leukemia.