Debarshi Roy, PhD

Debarshi Roy is a senior fellow in postdoctoral training program supervised by Dr. Viji Shridhar’s laboratory at Mayo Clinic, MN. Debarshi obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree at West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, Kolkata, India and PhD in pathobiology from University of Texas at El Paso, TX. In his graduate research, Dr. Roy studied the involvement of cellular lipid moieties in regulating the inflammatory responses in breast cancer cells. Recently, Dr. Roy has identified a novel link between increased glycolytic flux and lipid biogenesis, an observation often manifested in fast growing ovarian tumors. Specifically, activation of PFKFB3, a regulatory enzyme in glycolytic pathway has been determined to promote lipid droplet biogenesis and hence generate highly rich energy intermediates for cancer cell growth. To test this hypothesis, Dr. Roy will utilize promising new candidate small molecule inhibitor PFK-158 currently being studied in phase 1 clinical trials and genetic approaches to silence this enzyme. Dr. Roy will expand his hypothesis and determine whether such strategy (of targeting PFKFB3 by small molecule inhibitor) can be used against chemo-resistant ovarian cancer. His research project will reveal mechanisms responsible for PFKFB3 mediated glycolytic and lipid biosynthesis. The goals of this project are uniquely positioned to address the growing gap between limited efficacy of glycolytic inhibitors and potential to target metabolic pathways in actively growing ovarian cancer.