1. Introduction

Rubina Islam
M. Sc. Biophysics & Molecular Biology

2. Research experience

I joined TTCRC in 2014 and have been involved in the standardization and establishment of translational research carried out in the childhood leukemia group. I am trained in genomic-based minimal residual disease monitoring, DNA & RNA sequencing using next-generation sequencing, primary sample banking, cell culture, flow-cytometry and fluorescence-assisted cell sorting.

  • Back in 2014, my primary focus was to standardize the genomic-based approach for minimal residual disease monitoring for our patients with childhood ALL. I have received training from Dr. Eckert’s lab at University of Charite, Berlin and thereafter have been able to establish a workflow at TTCRC in accordance to international standards, which led to accreditation of our lab within the EuroMRD Consortium in 2015. I have hands-on-experience in standardizing the complete wet-lab workflow for targeted exome sequencing and RNA sequencing using NextSeq 550 platform on a subgroup of patients- high hyperdiploid ALL. Recently, I have also standardized an approach for whole transcriptome sequencing using the third generation sequencing technology from Oxford Nanopore; with the possibility to explore its feasibility as a rapid, cost-effective alternative to the conventional Illumina platform, which could have a wider access to smaller centres and hospitals across India.
  • I have also acquired training on cell culture techniques and flow cytometry and cell sorting in 2018, thereby managing the facility and assisting project fellows to optimize their cytometry protocols.
  • My technical proficiency includes handling sequencing platforms like 3500 Genetic Analyzer, NextSeq 550 sequencer, MinION sequencer, end-point and real-time PCR instruments like Step One Plus, Quant-Studio 7, Veriti and Proflex, Tape Station and Qubit instruments for sample quality check, flow cytometers like Accuri C6 Plus and Aria Fusion cell sorter.

3. Research interest

My current focus is to standardize and develop a workflow for the minimal residual disease monitoring using the next-generation sequencing platforms, first on Illumina and later on Nanopore. This would not only substantially decrease the costs and turnaround time of the tests, due to multiplexing of samples, but also allow centralization across all small centres, thereby providing equity in healthcare.

My research interest lies in understanding the biology of residual disease contributing to chemo-resistance and therapy failures. I am interested to decode tumour heterogeneity at the single cell resolution to understand how residual cells benefit from their microenvironment. Therefore, I would like to investigate residual cells using single-cell sequencing.

4. Publication

  1. Prakriti Roy, Rubina Islam, Debparna Saha, Manash Gogoi, Deepak Kumar Mishra, Neeraj Arora, Mayur Parihar, Shekhar Krishnan, Vaskar Saha. Efficacy and safety of a bortezomib and reduced intensity cytarabine based protocol, TMCR1, for relapsed childhood ALL in India. British Journal of Haematology, 2019 Sep; 186(6):861-865 
  2. Mayur Parihar, Manish K Singh, Rubina Islam, Debparna Saha, Deepak Kumar Mishra, Vaskar Saha, Shekhar Krishnan. A triple-probe fluorescent in situ hybridization screening strategy for risk stratified therapy of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in low resource settings. Pediatric Blood Cancer. 2018; 65(12): e27366.
  3. Rubina Islam, Debparna Saha, Debdutta Ganguli, Arindam Basu, Neeraj Arora, Deepak Mishra, Vaskar Saha, Shekhar Krishnan. PCR-based MRD testing for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in India. Paediatric Haematology Oncology Conference PHOCON 2017, Kolkata.
  4. Rubina Islam, Debparna Saha, Pritha Paul, Sudeshna Dhar, Prakriti Roy, Arindam Basu, Mayur Parihar, Neeraj Arora, Deepak Kumar Mishra, Debdutta Ganguli, Vaskar Saha, Shekhar Krishnan. Comparison between flow cytometry and molecular MRD monitoring of paediatric BCP-ALL patients treated on ICiCLe-ALL-2014 protocol. 5th ESHLO Symposium New Developments in ESHLO Networks 2016, Prague.
  5. Prakriti Roy, Jasmeet Sidhu, Rubina Islam, Debparna Saha, Mou Das, Pritha Paul, Shekhar Krishnan, Vaskar Saha. Evolving strategies in the management of relapsed Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia- TMCKIDS ALLR1. Paediatric HaematologyOncology Conference PHOCON 2017, Kolkata.
  6. Mayur Parihar, Manish Kumar Singh, Rubina Islam, Debparna Saha, Debdutta Ganguli, Arindam Basu, Prakriti Roy, Deepak Mishra, Vaskar Saha, Shekhar Krishnan. Distinct heterogeinity in Indian patients with High Hyperdiploid precursor B-cell ALL identified by high density array analysis. Paediatric Haematology Oncology Conference PHOCON 2017, Kolkata.
  7. Debdutta Ganguli, Mayur Parihar, Rubina Islam, Debparna Saha, Arindam Basu, Prakriti Roy, Sudeshna Dhar, Neeraj Arora, Deepak Mishra, Swapnoleena Das, Surbhi Malhotra, Binuja Varma, Rajgopal Srinivasan, Amit Saxena, Shekhar Krishnan, Vaskar Saha. Development of a targeted sequencing panel for Indian patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Paediatric Haematology Oncology Conference PHOCON 2017, Kolkata.
  8. Arindam Basu, Debparna Saha, Rubina Islam, Arunabha Chakrabarti, Anindita Dutta, MeghnaBanerjee, Pritha Paul, SriparnaGiri, Shyamashee Biswas, Mou Das, Prakriti Roy, Sudeshna Dhar, Vaskar Saha, Debdutta Ganguli, Usha Menon, Shekhar Krishnan. Establishment of a biorepository of paediatric cancers: the Tata Medical Center Experience. Paediatric Haematology Oncology Conference PHOCON 2017, Kolkata.
  9. Mukherjee A, Islam R, Bhattacharya A, Bose S, Matharu SK, Mukherjee S, Mitra AK. Identification and Characterization of Zinc Solubilizing Bacteria Isolated from Mixed Sewage of East Kolkata Wetlands Nature Environment and Pollution Technology 2011; 10(4): 657-660.