Nehal Thakor

Assistant Professor

Chemistry & Biochemistry


Preferred method of communication


Deborah Powers



Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Regulation of mRNA Translation during Glioblastoma Multiforme Progression

Summary of Research

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most aggressive malignancy among all gliomas with a dismal prognosis and survival rate. The heterogeneity of tumor cells poses a significant clinical challenge for the diagnosis and treatment of GBM and make it a ‘hard-to-treat’ cancer. Most of the frontline therapies kill the actively dividing GBM cells. However, the brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) remain dormant and survive the surgical, drug and radiation therapeutic interventions. BTICs are a population of cells that demonstrate stem cell-like properties and differentiate into advanced GBM tumors. The mechanisms of non-canonical translation, which provide a selective advantage for tumor cell survival, are studied in the selected established GBM cell lines. However, virtually nothing is known about how translation regulation affects the transition of BTICs to GBM tumors. A precise understanding of how mRNA translation is regulated during BTICs to GBM transition is needed to design the next-generation therapeutics for treating this difficult malignancy. Accordingly, my research is focused on defining the role of dysregulated mRNA translation during GBM progression.


Dr Sinnarajah is Assistant Professor with the Division of Palliative Medicine, Department of Oncology at the University of Calgary. He graduated from the University of Toronto medical school and completed his family residency program at the University of Toronto. His added year of palliative medicine training was completed at the University of Calgary. He completed his Masters in Public Health at Harvard University. Currently, he is a physician consultant in Palliative Medicine with the Palliative & End of Life Care program in Calgary and a Medical Informatics Lead Physician at Alberta Health Services in Calgary.