Rashedul Islam

Research interests

Epigenomics, Cancer genomics, Bioinformatics, Sequencing data analysis


Post-doc (then bioinformatician at Genofax from July 2022)


rashedul.islam [at] alumni.ubc.ca

Major research activities


Lymphoid leukemias are the class of leukemias affecting circulating white blood cells and are defined by a differentiation block that involves epigenetic reprogramming. In my PhD research, I studied the epigenetic aberrations associated with two lymphoid leukemias e.g., T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Using integrative analysis of reference epigenetic datasets generated from human primary tissues and cell lines, I identified layers of epigenetic aberrations and their potential mechanisms in those leukemias. I found both types of leukemia have new enhancers that are associated with the over-expression of genes known to be oncogenic. Using disease models, I confirmed that these new enhancers are established by specific transcription factors that can be targeted using epigenetic drugs. For the PhD research, I collaborated with the wet lab and clinical scientists across different UBC labs. 


Key publications

  • Rashedul Islam, Misha Bilenky, Andrew P Weng, Joseph M Connors, Martin Hirst. CRIS: complete reconstruction of immunoglobulin V-D-J sequences from RNA-seq data. Bioinform Adv. 2021 Sep 9;1(1):vbab021.
  • Catherine E Jenkins, Samuel Gusscott, Rachel J Wong, Olena O Shevchuk, Gurneet Rana, Vincenzo Giambra, Kateryna Tyshchenko, Rashedul Islam, Martin Hirst, Andrew P Weng. RUNX1 promotes cell growth in human T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia by transcriptional regulation of key target genes. Exp Hematol. 2018 Aug;64:84-96.

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PhD thesis

UBC library