skip to content

Bioinformatics Training


Lecturer in Chromatin Biology, CRUK Career Establishment Award holder

I am a breast cancer research scientist with many years of research experience investigating the transcriptional regulation of disease progression in breast cancers.


I completed my Integrated M.Sc. in Bio-Medical Science at Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India. After obtainining a prestigious and competitive PhD scholarship from German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), I moved to the University of Goettingen, Germany, to work with Prof. Dr. Steven A Johnsen, for my PhD. My successful PhD research on an epigenetic reader protein BRD4 in ER+ breast cancers introduced the possibility of using Bromodomain and Extraterminal domain-containing protein (BET) inhibitors as a therapeutic strategy against breast cancers. This body of work resulted in me being awarded best PhD from my graduate program, Göttingen Graduate Center for Neurosciences, Biophysics, and Molecular Biosciences.

As a Research associate, I worked with Prof. Jason Carroll, CRUK Cambridge Instiutute. Using genome-wide CRISPR-based drug resistance screens and functional genomic approaches (ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq, RNA-seq), I investigated a novel role for the SWI/SNF chromatin remodelling complex, and its subunit ARID1A in controlling endocrine treatment response. As a result of my achievements, I got promoted as a Senior Research Associate at CRUK Cambridge Institute. Then, I moved to Manchester to start my first PI position in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Function. Based on my research findings from CRISPR screening, I developed an independent grant proposal as a PI on chromatin architecture proteins in ER+  breast cancers and this was recently awarded a Career Establishment award by the charity Cancer Research UK. My research lab at Manchester will extend my experience on chromatin remodelling and breast cancer epigenetics using CRISPR-Cas9 system and single cell epigenomic approaches into a new direction of research: understanding the enhancer evolution during endocrine resistance and metastatic processes in aggressive cancers.


Key publications: 

Bromodomain protein BRD4 is required for estrogen receptor-dependent enhancer activation and gene transcription

Sankari Nagarajan 1Tareq Hossan 2Malik Alawi 3Zeynab Najafova 1Daniela Indenbirken 4Upasana Bedi 5Hanna Taipaleenmäki 6Isabel Ben-Batalla 7Marina Scheller 7Sonja Loges 7Stefan Knapp 8Eric Hesse 6Cheng-Ming Chiang 9Adam Grundhoff 4Steven A Johnsen 10

PMCID: PMC4747248

DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.06.016

FOXA1 Directs H3K4 Monomethylation at Enhancers via Recruitment of the Methyltransferase MLL3

Kamila M. Jozwik,1 Igor Chernukhin,1 Aurelien A. Serandour,1,2 Sankari Nagarajan,1, * and Jason S. Carroll1,3, * 1Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 ORE, UK 2Genome Biology Unit, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany

Breast cancer bone metastases are attenuated in a Tgif1-deficient bone microenvironment

Haider, M., Saito, H., Zarrer, J., Uzhunnumpuram, K., Nagarajan, S., Kari, V., Horn-glander, M., Werner, S., Hesse, E. & Taipaleenmäki, H., 1 Dec 2020, In: Breast Cancer Research. 22, 1

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review

DOI: 10.1186/s13058-020-01269-8 

IL6/STAT3 Signaling Hijacks Estrogen Receptor α Enhancers to Drive Breast Cancer Metastasis

Nagarajan, S., 14 Sep 2020, In: Cancer Cell. 38, 3, p. 412-423.e9

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review

DOI: 10.1016/j.ccell.2020.06.007

ARID1A influences HDAC1/BRD4 activity, intrinsic proliferative capacity and breast cancer treatment response

Nagarajan, S., Rao, S. V., Sutton, J., Cheeseman, D., Dunn, S., Papachristou, E. K., Prada, J. G., Couturier, D., Kumar, S., Kishore, K., Chilamakuri, C. S. R., Glont, S., Archer Goode, E., Brodie, C., Guppy, N., Natrajan, R., Bruna, A., Caldas, C., Russell, A., Siersbæk, R., & 3 others, 1 Feb 2020, In: Nature Genetics. 52, 2, p. 187-197

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-review

DOI: 10.1038/s41588-019-0541-5

Teaching and Supervisions



  • Introduction to R - Trainer


  • Introduction to R - Trainer
  • Analysis of bulk RNA-seq data - Training Lead, Trainer


  • Introduction to R - Trainer
  • Analysis of bulk RNA-seq data -  Training Lead, Trainer


  • Introduction to R - Trainer
  • Analysis of bulk RNA-seq data - Trainer

Other Professional Activities

  • Principal Investigator in Manchester Breast Centre (MBC)
  • Principal Investigator in Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC)
  • Member in EACR, BACR and AACR
  • EACR Ambassador
  • Selection panel member for PhD studentship in Manchester Cancer Research Centre (MCRC)
Sankari Nagarajan

Contact Details

C.2260 Michael Smith Building
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PT
United Kingdom