Nina Rao re-joined the Laboratory of Translational Genomics (LTG) in 2022 as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Ludmila Prokunina-Olsson, Ph.D., LTG Director and senior investigator. She graduated the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology. In 2013, Dr. Rao spent a year as a postbaccalaureate fellow in the laboratory of Dan Fowler, M.D., Center for Cancer Research, NCI, where she studied the effects of rapamycin on T cell-based therapies for blood malignancies. Dr. Rao then joined Dr. Prokunina-Olsson's laboratory as a postbaccalaureate fellow, where she performed functional characterization of the novel interferon, IFN-λ4. In 2016, she enrolled in the NIH-Johns Hopkins University Graduate Partnership Program, during which she completed her Ph.D. thesis work in the laboratories of Michael Dean, Ph.D.,D. and Dr. Prokunina-Olsson in 2022. For her doctoral research, she analyzed associations between environmental risk factors and mutagenesis in urothelial bladder cancer. In 2020, she received the DFARE award from NCI DCEG.
Currently, Dr. Rao studies the effects of germline SNPs on mRNA splicing and chromatin conformation with Nanopore and Illumina sequencing platforms under the mentorship of Dr. Prokunina-Olsson.