Centre for Translational Cancer Research

Research Team

Dr. C . B. Koppiker

Medical Director, PCCM

Dr. Koppiker, is a Breast Oncosurgeon and the Medical Director, Orchids Breast Health Center, Pune. Dr. Koppiker is a pioneer in Breast Oncoplasty in India and has established an International School of Breast Oncoplasty in collaboration with senior faculty of the Association of Breast Surgeons, UK and University of East Anglia (UEA) , UK. He is also an Honorary Faculty and Asia Convener for M.Ch. Breast Oncoplasty Program of UEA, UK. Dr Koppiker lead the establishment of the 1st integrated cancer center in the city namely the Budhrani Cancer Institute, at the Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital, Pune. He then helped set up 2 more reputed cancer centers as the Director of Ruby Hall Clinic Cancer Center and Cancer Clinic and Research Center at Jehangir Hospital in Pune.

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Prof L. S. Shashidhara

Ashoka University, IISER Pune

Dr. L.S. Shashidhara is a Professor at Ashoka University and IISER Pune. His research work in cancer biology, genetics, cell and developmental biology has generated numerous high-impact publications and book chapters. He is recognized with CSIR Technology Award, SS Bhatnagar Prize and JC Bose National Fellowship and is a Fellow of Indian National Science Academy; National Academy of Sciences, India; and Indian Academy of Sciences. He has been elected as Vice-President of Indian National Science Academy and Secretary General of International Union of Biological Sciences. Recently, Prof Shashidhara was elected as Associate member of European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), a coveted international recognition for excellence in research in life sciences.

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Ms. Laleh Busheri

CEO (Prashanti Cancer Care Mission)

Laleh Busheri is the CEO of Prashanti Cancer Care Mission (PCCM), which is a non-profit NGO in Pune, working towards eradicating women cancers from the city and touching the lives of over 30000 cancer patients and caregivers by providing prompt diagnosis, free and concessional treatment to the needy, comprehensive, holistic care and support to everyone going through the bewildering maze of challenges the disease brings to its wake, and preparing the patients for a life after the disease.

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Dr. Mayurika Lahiri, PhD


Dr. Lahiri is currently an Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. She did her Bachelors from Department of Botany, Presidency College (now Presidency University), Kolkata and her Masters from Division of Biomedical Sciences, Sheffield Hallam University, UK. She graduated from School of Applied Sciences at University of Wolverhampton, UK. She joined Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA as a postdoctoral research associate and later moved to the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, USA as a postdoctoral fellow.

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Dr. Madhura Kulkarni

Senior Scientist, PCCM

Dr. Kulkarni is a Senior Scientist and DBT-Ramalingaswami Fellow. Dr. Kulkarni leads the design and conduct of research on molecular profiling of infiltrating ductal carcinoma for novel prognostic and therapeutic targets. She is a gold medalist for MSc from the University of Pune and has obtained her Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from University of Maryland, College Park, USA. During her post-doctoral work at MGH-Harvard Medical School, USA and Cancer Science Institute, Singapore; she has gained extensive experience in cancer biology and translational research specifically pertaining to breast cancer. Her work has been published in many high impact international journals. Dr. Kulkarni has received the prestigious 're-entry' Ramalingaswami fellowship from the Department of Biotechnology, India to set-up a laboratory in India.

Dr. Devaki A. Kelkar

Senior Scientist, PCCM

Dr. Kelkar is a senior scientist at Prashanti Cancer Care Mission. She received her MSc from the University of Pune where she won the Silver Jubilee Prize and obtained her Ph.D in membrane biophysics from CCMB, Hyderabad. She completed post doctoral training at Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, USA. Her research work has been published in many prestigious international journals.

Dr. Sneha Joshi

Senior Scientist, PCCM

Dr. Sneha Joshi

Senior Scientist, PCCM

Dr. Joshi is a senior scientist at Prashanti Cancer Care Mission. She received her M.Sc from the University of Pune and obtained her Ph.D in Immunology from Rutgers University, NJ, USA. She completed her post-doctoral training at Columbia University, NY, USA in Osteoimmunology with a focus on Leukemia blasts. Apart from regular paper publications her research in collaboration with Stanford Medical School, focusing on the role of Vitamin D3 in ameliorating Th17 Autoimmunity went on to get press released.

Ms. Nikki Dutt

PhD student, Lahiri Lab, IISER Pune

Nikki is a PhD student in Mayurika Lahiri's lab at IISER Pune. Her research project aims at finding out the clinical annotation of a VUS case scenario for the gene MSH2, one of the mismatch repair genes involved in post-replicative repair of DNA. She completed her B.Sc. in Microbiology from K.C College, Mumbai and M.Sc. in the same degree from Sophia College for Women, Mumbai. Before venturing to research she had been a lecturer for about a year and half, with her last institute served being K.J Somaiya College of Science and Commerce, Mumbai as an assistant professor

Mr. Abhijith K

PhD student, Lahiri Lab, IISER Pune

Abhijith is a CSIR SRF at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune. His PhD research, under the guidance of Dr Mayurika Lahiri, includes in-silico, in-vitro, and in-vivo studies to understand certain molecular aspects of breast tumorigenesis. He received his Bachelors and Masters in Biotechnology from Amrita School of Biotechnology, Kollam, Kerala

Ms. Pooja Vaid

PhD student, LSS Lab, IISER Pune

Pooja is a gold medalist from D.Y.Patil, Pune where she received her M.Sc (Biotechnology). She has worked as a project assistant on the 'DISC - Denmark-India In Vivo Screen for Cancer Biomarkers' project funded by an Indo-Danish collaboratory project through DBT at IISER, Pune.

Dr. Rupa Mishra

Senior Scientist, PCCM

Dr. Mishra is a senior scientist at Prashanti Cancer Care Mission and is working on breast cancer genetics related projects. She obtained her PhD from ACTREC-TMC where she was focused on the molecular regulation of apoptotic proteins in oral cancers. Her postdoctoral work at IISER Pune focused on the role of actin nucleating protein in DNA damage response and breast cancer cell migration.

Smeeta Nare

Clincical Data Co-ordinator

Smeeta obtained a B Sc in Nursing from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, and finished a Certificate course in clinical research. At PCCM she is the Breast health clinical assistant (or nurse in charge) and a research coordinator. She is responsible for OPD-Counselling patients on breast health and breast cancer patient on various aspect of their treatment. She also works on data collection for clinical, epidemiological and biological research and in digital data management. She previously worked as an oncology nurse at Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital, Pune and was In charge Nurse and Nurse educator as well as research nurse and research coordinator at Jehangir Hospital and clinical research center Pune.

Shweta Kadu

Clinical Data Analyst, CTCR

Shweta has a BSc in Statistics from Abasaheb Garware College, Pune. And a postgraduate diploma in Data Science from S.P.College, Tilak road, Pune. She previously worked with the team from IISER Pune to analyse the COVID-19 data of Pune Municipal Corporation.


Ms. Shahin Shaikh

Junior Research Scientist, PCCM

Shahin is a Bachelor in Pharmacy from Allana College of Pharmacy, Pune with a PG Diploma in Clinical Research from Noble Hospital ,Pune. She has experience as a Clinical Research Coordinator and is currently working as Jr.Research Scientist at PCCM Pune

Mr. Siddharth Gahlaut

Junior Research Fellow, CTCR

Siddharth received his B.Sc. in Zoology from Savitribai Phule Pune University (Formerly the Pune University). Following that, he completed his M.Sc. in Medical Genetics and Genomics from University of Glasgow, Scotland (UK). His current role sees him involved in the Genome India Project and various Breast cancer themed clinical genetic projects at Prashanti Cancer Care Mission (PCCM)

Mr. Danish Ansari

Clinical Research Coordinator


Ms. Ashwini Bapat

Clinical Research Coordinator

Ashwini has completed her graduation in Microbiology from Savitribai Phule Pune University and post graduation in Biomedical sciences from Strathclyde University, Scotland. She has a prior work experience in molecular diagnostics. She is also trained as a genetic counsellor. She is currently working in PCCM on genetics of breast cancer. Ashwini has also completed certification course of Basic Nutrition in Ayurveda and is a CrossFit trainer.

Ms. Rohini Unde

Clinical Research Coordinator

Rohini recieved her B.Sc. Zoology from Pune University, and Post graduate Diploma in Clinical Management, Institute of Clinical Research India, Mumbai and M.Sc. in Cinical Research from Cranfield University UK. She has also won a silver medal in Rowing at the National Championships.

Dr. Santosh G. Dixit

Senior Scientist, PCCM

Dr. Dixit is a Senior Scientist at Prashanti Cancer Care Mission and leads the design and conduct of multiple interdisciplinary projects in breast cancer with a translational focus at CTCR. He has received a Master's in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University Department of Chemical Technology (UDCT), Mumbai and a Ph.D.(Pharmaceutical Sciences) from University of Cincinnati, USA. He has also completed post-doctoral training at Vanderbilt University, USA and University of Western Ontario, Canada.

Dr. Nutan Gangurde

Research Scientist, PCCM

Dr. Gangurde completed her graduation in Homoeopathy, from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (March 2004), after which she worked with a multispeciality hospital as a Medical Officer to earn clinical skills.

Ms. Dimple Adiwal

Ms. Dimple Adiwal worked as a Research Assistant with us on a DBT funded project "Novel prognostic marker to identify aggressive Triple-negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)". Her contribution to the work has made valuable addition to our understanding of novel markers and their association with aggressive disease specifically in TNBC. Ms. Adiwal will be moving to ACTREC, Mumbai.

Dr. Aeijaz Ul Noor, PhD

Dr. Noor received a Ph.D. (Biochemistry) from University of Kashmir, after which he undertook Tutor/Demonstrator training at Dept. of Biochemistry SKIMS-MC, Bemina, Srinagar. His pre-doctoral training is from National Centre for Biological Science (NCBS), Bangalore and Université Laval, Canada. At CTCR Aeijaz contributed to all the clinical research articles during his tenure.

Ms. Aditi Khatpe

Aditi is a B.Sc and M.Sc in Biotechnology from Fergusson College, University of Pune. For her masters thesis she worked at Aagharkhar Research Institute, Pune. She worked as a project assistant at IISER, Pune on 'In vivo screening of Tumour suppressors in Drosophila' funded by an Indo-Danish DBT grant. And 'the TNBC subtyping project' with Dr. Kulkarni funded by DBT-Ramalingaswami grant. Currently, Aditi is pursuing her PhD at Indiana University, USA.

Dr. Apurv Kulkarni, Ph.D

Dr. Kulkarni completed his BS/MS from IISER-Pune. During his MS he worked on a research project on the role of Wnt signalling in Drosophila wing development. He obtained his Ph.D from Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany in Neural stem cell epigenetics. He contributed to the systematic review and meta-analysis of TNBC prevalence in India published by CTCR.

Ms. Rintu Umesh

PhD student, Lahiri Lab, IISER Pune

Is an Integrated BS-MS from IISER Pune. She joined Dr. Mayurika Lahiri's lab on August 2012 for her Master's thesis dissertation project on the- Role of TopBP1 in transformation of 3D breast acinar cultures. She is currently a final year PhD Student in Mayurika's Lab.

Ms. Rutvi Shah

Rutvi completed Integrated Masters (Life Sciences) from Ahmedabad University. She received a Summer Research Fellowship awarded by the Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences India and Indian Academy of Sciences. She did her summer research at the National Institute of Research in Reproductive Health, Mumbai. She did a year long research project with CTCR with Dr. Kulkarni on 'HER2-subtype of breast cancer and role of YAP in progression' funded by DBT-Ramalingaswami grant. Currently, Rutvi is pursuing her PhD at Texas, USA.

Ms. Rituja Banale

Clinical Data Supervisor, PCCM

Rituja recieved her BSc in Microbiology from Modern College Of Arts, Science & Commerce, Pune. She further trained and completed courses in Clinical Data Management , Basic Bioinformatics in Life Science and Biological Techniques.