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Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

Mona Batish


International Center for Public Health (ICPH)
225 Warren Street Room E350S

Phone: (973) 972-6466



I have an interdisciplinary research background. I have a master’s degree in microbial biotechnology from Panjab
University in India. In 2006, I enrolled in the doctoral program in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular
Genetics at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, earning a Ph.D. in 2012. With a desire to work on
developing novel technologies I joined the laboratory of Drs. Fred Kramer, Sanjay Tyagi, and Salvatore Marras at Public
Health Research Institute, where molecular beacon probes were invented. I worked with Dr. Tyagi to understand the
mechanism by which mRNAs are transported from the cell nucleus to active synapses in hippocampal neurons. Utilizing
probes that enabled the detection of single molecules of RNA, I also explored cellular sites where alternative splicing of
mRNAs occur. Both these studies utilized a single-molecule florescent in situ hybridization method (smFISH), which can
light up mRNA molecules at single-molecule resolution in fixed cells. After completion of my doctoral research, I began
working as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Fred Kramer, to visualize gene fusion transcripts, utilizing smFISH. I now plan
to employ the power of this extremely sensitive imaging technique to directly observe molecular processes that lead to




Curriculum Vitae

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Relevant Publications:

Kasar S , Underbayev C,, Yuan Y , Hanlon M, Aly S, Chang V, Gavrilova T, Badiane F, Degheidy H ,Marti G, Batish,M & Raveche,E (2013) Therapeutic Implications of Activation of the Host Gene (Dleu2) Promoter for miR-15a/16-1 in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). Oncogene. In press.
Mavrianos J, Berkow EL, Desai C, Pandey A, Batish M, Rabadi MJ, Barker KS, Pain D, Rogers PD, Eugenin EA, Chauhan N. (2013) Mitochondrial Two-Component Signaling Systems in Candida albicans. Eukaryotic Cell. Apr 12. [Epub]
Wirpsza, L., Pillai, S., Batish, M., Marras, S., Krasnoperov, L. & Mustaev, A. (2012) Highly bright avidin-based affinity probes carrying multiple lanthanide chelates. Journal of photochemistry and photobiology B, 116: 22-9.
Batish, M., van den Bogaard, P., Kramer, F.R. & Tyagi, S. (2012) Neuronal mRNAs travel singly into dendrites. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A., 109: 4645-4650.
Vargas D.Y., Shah, K., Batish, M., Levandoski, M., Sinha, S., Marras, S.A.E., Schedl, P.& Tyagi, S. (2011) Single-molecule imaging of transcriptionally coupled and uncoupled splicing. Cell, 147: 1054-1065.
Batish, M., Raj, A. & Tyagi, S. (2011) Single molecule imaging of RNA in situ. In “RNA Visualization: Methods and Protocols,” Gerst, J. E., ed. Methods in Molecular Biology, 714: 3-13.
Singh, G., Batish, M., Sharma, P. & Capalash, N. (2009) Xenobiotics enhance laccase activity in alkali-tolerant ¿- proteobacterium JB. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, 40: 26-30.
Singh, G., Ahuja, N., Batish, M., Capalash, N. & Sharma, P. (2008) Biobleaching of wheat straw-rich soda pulp with alkalophilic laccase from ¿-proteobacterium JB: Optimization of process parameters using response surface methodology. Bioresource Technology, 99: 7472-7479.


Current Research

Detection of chromosomal translocations by single molecule RNA imaging

Double-stranded DNA breaks occur on a regular basis in the human genome as a consequence of genotoxic stress and
errors during replication. Enzymes routinely repair these breaks, but occasionally, during the repair process, different
chromosomes, or different regions of the same chromosome, become fused to each other, leading to chromosomal
translocations. Identification of these translocations has led to the development of new therapeutics specifically
targeting the products of these gene fusions. It is therefore of great importance to detect the underlying gene fusions
at early stages in the disease process, so that appropriate treatment can be started in time. I plan to develop a novel
method for the detection of these gene fusion transcripts. This method will use fluorescent in situ hybridization probes
that bind specifically to different regions of fused mRNAs, enabling each mRNA molecule to be seen as a bright,
diffraction-limited spot in a fluorescence microscope. Different mRNA species can be distinguished from each other,
using sets of probes labeled with differently colored fluorophores. By coupling this single-molecule imaging technique
with automated image-analysis computer programs, the location of affected cells among the normal cells in
a tissue sample can be readily determined, and the number of gene fusion transcripts in each individual affected cell can
be counted. I also plan to develop effective tools for the identification of new gene fusions. Inherent in this project is
the hope that the molecular mechanisms that result in tumor-causing gene rearrangements can be understood, thereby
enabling the development of new drugs and therapies that prevent the occurrence of these translocations.



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