Vignesh received his Master of Science degree in 2017 in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Wageningen University and Research Center in the Netherlands. At Wageningen, he worked on estrogen related receptor alpha-mediated progression of breast cancer. Vignesh is now a PhD candidate in the Arcaro Lab, where his research focuses on using breastmilk as a liquid biopsy to develop a new approach for post-partum breast cancer risk screening in BRCA mutation carriers. Women with a germline mutation in the BRCA gene are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, and these women face difficult decisions about breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding offers some protection against breast cancer for women with BRCA mutations, the recommended biannual clinical breast exams and annual MRIs have low sensitivity on lactating breasts. Vignesh is therefore working towards developing a molecular screen for accurate assessment of breast cancer risk and early detection of occult disease in lactating women with a germline BRCA mutation.
Veterinary and Animal Sciences