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NCCAM Online Continuing Education Series

Speaker Biosketch for Studying the Effects of Natural Products

Ram Sasisekharan, Ph.D.

Ram Sasisekharan, Ph.D.

Professor, Division of Biological Engineering, MIT, Cambridge, MA

Ram Sasisekharan is a professor of biological engineering and health sciences and technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He and his laboratory staff focus their research efforts on complex carbohydrates called glycans and the role they play in the biological processes relating to health and disease. Dr. Sasisekharan's research has shown that glycans, found on the surface of all cells and in the spaces between them, have a significant role in the communications between cells that cause them to divide, migrate, or die. As they work to better understand the structure and functions of specific glycans, Dr. Sasisekharan and his group hope to find ways to use them as diagnostic tools and to develop alternative carbohydrate-based therapies for a variety of diseases including cancer.

Born in India, Dr. Sasisekharan attended Bangalore University where he received a B.S. degree in Physical Sciences. He then enrolled at Harvard University where he earned an M.S. degree in Biophysics, followed by a Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School. In 1995, he completed post-doctoral studies with the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.