Sukbir Kaur, Ph.D.

Sukbir Kaur, Ph.D.
Staff Scientist

Team Member of:

Exosomes or extracellular vesicles (EVs) are shed by all kinds of cells, and recent research has shown that exosomes play a major role in cell-cell communication and also are associated with disease progression such as cancer metastasis. Dr. Kaur discovered that CD47, which is known as the “don’t eat me” signal and which is upregulated in many cancers, is also present on exosomes. Her major interest is to explore the role of exosome-associated CD47 in breast and prostate cancers.

Areas of Expertise

1) exosomes/extracellualr vesicles, 2) cancer stem cells, 3) miRNA biogenesis,
4) RNA sequencing data analysis, 5) molecular and cell biology, 6) small non-coding RNAs

Contact Info

Sukbir Kaur, Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Buiding 10, Room 2N252
Bethesda, MD 20892
Ph: 301-480-4295

Cancer Stem Cell Research

Cancer stem cells have been implicated in the spread of cancer cells and in poor progonses for many cancers. Our lab is interested in identifying roles for CD47 and SIRP alpha receptors in human breast cancer stem cells and in understanding the regulation of these receptors and the genes associated with cancer stem cell markers in vitro and in vivo.

Non-coding RNA Biogenesis:  Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) has been implicated in development activities such as embryogenesis, differentiation, growth control, and programmed cell death. Altered expression of miRNA leads to disarrangement of cellular mechanisms in diseases such as cancer. Changes in expression profiles of ncRNA have been identified as potential biomarkers for cancer. Understanding the novel role of CD47 receptors in the regulation of ncRNA biogenesis using global ncRNA-Seq and ncRNA microarray expression levels in normal and cancer exosomes from various cell lines such as breast, colon, ovary, small lung carcinomas, and melanomas is one area of interest.

RNA-Sequencing Bioinformatics:  Next-generation sequencing data analysis is evolving rapidly and explores key scientific information buried in raw reads. We are interested in exploring RNA-Seq analysis and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database to understand coding-non-coding RNAs using a wide variety of bioinformatics software.

NIH Scientific Focus Areas:
Cancer Biology, Computational Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Stem Cell Biology

Selected Key Publications

  1. Kaur S, Elkahloun AG, Arakelyan A, Young L, Myers TG, Otaizo-Carrasquero F, Wu W, Margolis L, Roberts DD.
    Sci Rep. 8(1): 2577, 2018. [ Journal Article ]
  2. Kaur S, Elkahloun AG, Singh SP, Chen QR, Meerzaman DM, Song T, Manu N, Wu W, Mannan P, Garfield SH, Roberts DD.
    Oncotarget. 7(9): 10133-52, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
  3. Kaur S, Singh SP, Elkahloun AG, Wu W, Abu-Asab MS, Roberts DD.
    Matrix Biol. 37: 49-59, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
  4. Kaur S, Soto-Pantoja DR, Stein EV, Liu C, Elkahloun AG, Pendrak ML, Nicolae A, Singh SP, Nie Z, Levens D, Isenberg JS, Roberts DD.
    Sci Rep. 3: 1673, 2013. [ Journal Article ]
  5. Kaur S, Martin-Manso G, Pendrak ML, Garfield SH, Isenberg JS, Roberts DD.
    J Biol Chem. 285(50): 38923-32, 2010. [ Journal Article ]

Dr. Kaur was a predoctoral fellow with Dr. Ramani Ramchandran at NCI. She then took a postdoctoral fellowship in the Genome Technology Branch at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) where she developed an interest in miRNAs and non-coding RNAs. Later, she joined Dr. David Roberts' group, the Biochemical Pathology Section, eventually becoming a staff scientist. Dr. Kaur has received many awards, including the Director's Innovation Award, the NIH Mentoring Award, and technology transfer awards.

Her research interests include exploration of differential regulation of CD47 in cancer versus normal stem cells as well as cell-cell communication via exosomes and their functional role in cancer. In addition to this, she is interested in miRNAs and non-coding RNAs, RNA-Seq data analysis, and the downstream bioinformatics analyses.

She serves on peer review panels for PLoS One, Scientific Reports and JOVE. Additionally, she has been an active member of the Staff Scientist/Staff Clinician (SSSC) Organization, since she became a staff scientist in 2015. She plays an active role in organizing Professional Development Day for the Professional Development Committee.