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avatar for Preethi Gunaratne

Preethi Gunaratne

University of Houston
Assoc Professor
Dr. Preethi Gunaratne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology & Biochemistry at the University of Houston holding dual appointments in the Department of Pathology, Human Genome Sequencing Center and Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Gunaratne obtained her Ph.D. in Genetics from Cornell University and completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the Northwestern University Medical School. In 1999 she obtained Board Certification in Clinical Molecular Genetics and Medical Genetics as a Fellow of the American College of Medical Genetics. After serving as the Assistant Director of the Baylor College of Medicine DNA Diagnostic laboratory she joined the International Human Genome Project in 1999 through which she directly contributed to the sequencing and annotation of Human Chromosomes 3, 12 and X. In 2000 she was appointed Director of gene (cDNA) sequencing at the Baylor Human Genome Sequencing Center (Baylor-HGSC). At the HGSC she lead her team to make the largest single contribution of 15,000 sequences to the National Cancer Institutes’ (NCI) Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) in Phase I and over 15,000 sequences to the National Institute for Diabetes & Digestive Kidney Disease (NIDDK) - Stem Cell Genome Anatomy Project (SCGAP). Dr. Gunaratne joined the University of Houston in 2006 and went on to establish one of the first comprehensive functional genomics platforms to rationally define genetic signatures that accurately stratify and predict responsive and non-responsive host genomes to externally administered microRNAs and drugs. Funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institute of Child Health (NICHD), Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), The Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), Cullen Foundation and McNair Foundation she has collaborated with teams from Baylor College of Medicine and MD Anderson Cancer Center to pioneer methods to discover strong tumor suppressor genes and microRNAs for ovaria