Dr. Prasanna R Kolatkar | Hamad Bin Khalifa University
Hamad Bin Khalifa University


Dr. Prasanna R Kolatkar

Dr. Prasanna R Kolatkar

Senior Scientist – Structural Biology
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute QBRI
Diabetes Research Center
Core Facility

Joint Associate Professor
College of Health and Life Sciences

  • Phone+974 4495 6445


Dr. Kolatkar graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991 where he studied structural biology in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He then spent several years studying structural biology in the laboratory of Michael Rossmann at Purdue University where he studied virus-receptor relationships and received a Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund fellowship. Upon moving to Singapore in 1997, he worked for the Bioinformatics Center and Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology and joined the Genome Institute of Singapore in 2001. His current work involves understanding the molecular details of transcription factor (TF) complexes involved in stem cell biology. His laboratory uses biochemistry as well as structural biology to discover how TFs create function through combinatorial interactions. Recently this work led to the re-engineering of stem cell function through directed mutagenesis of key residues involved in protein-protein interactions.


Research Interests

Dr Kolatkar’s interests lie within understanding how the combination of two or more transcription factors (TFs) can give high specificity to TFs which have relatively low specificity individually. He believes that understanding protein-protein interactions of such complexes is as important as understanding protein-DNA interactions. Subtle changes in the protein-protein interaction interface gives rise to different TF partnerships which in turn gives rise to starkly different cell developmental programs.

Using a variety of biochemical and structural biology methods, his approach can complement genomic approaches and thus obtain detailed knowledge of the transcription landscape. He has successfully applied this methodology and inter-converted pluripotency and endodermal programs by changing a single residue. His group will apply these approaches to understand developmental programs which play an important role in diabetes and cancer.

  • Mechanistic analysis of transcription factor networks involved in pluripotency and β islet cell development.
  • Dr Kolatkar’s current work is a continuation of his past work dealing with TFs involved in pluripotency and their combinatorial code and to also investigate TFs involved in various diabetes pathways such as β islet cell development.
  • Dr Kolatkar’s laboratory will use a variety of methods including X-ray crystallography as well as various macromolecular interaction methods such as ITC and EMSA to analyze protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions.


Dr Kolatkar’s laboratory will collaborate with several laboratories within and outside of QBRI. Within QBRI, the laboratory will work closely with Essam Abdelalim’s stem cell group as well as Richard Thompson for analysis of genomics data. In addition the laboratory will work with Karsten Suhre’s laboratory at WCM-Q, Halima Bensmail’s laboratory at QCRI, and Ramzi Temanni and Tanwir Habib at SIDRA Medicine for bioinformatics analysis. Finally the laboratory will work with the stem cell group of Irene Aksoy at Inserm,Paris to validate biochemical findings.

Stem Cell Biology (COLLABORATIONS)

Essam Abdelalim, QBRI

  • Bioinformatics (COLLABORATIONS)

    Richard Thompson, QBRI

  • Bioinformatics (COLLABORATIONS)

    Karsten Suhre, WCM-Q

  • Stem Cell Biology (COLLABORATIONS)

    Irene Aksoy, Inserm,Paris

  • Crystallization prediction (COLLABORATIONS)

    Halima Bensmail, QCRI

  • Lectures and helped with organization (Teaching)

    Advanced molecular biology, QBRI, Qatar

  • Lecturer (Teaching)

    Stem cell biology, HBKU, Qatar

  • Lecturer (Teaching)

    Single transduction, HBKU, Qatar

  • Lecturer (Teaching)

    Molecular mechanisms of cancer and precision medicine, HBKU, Qatar

  • Mentoring

    Sarah Sayed, Qatar University, Summer Research Program (SRP) 2018

  • Mentoring

    Hamda Basha, Qatar University, (SRP) 2018

  • Mentoring

    Jean Royce, CNA-Q, (SRP) 2018

Selected Publications

  • Hu J, Tan SK, Lim MGL, Chang SH, Cui G, Liu S, Narasimhan K, New SY, Wang X, Chen C, Chakravarty H, Kolatkar PR, Tam KY, Lu Q, Su X, Jauch R, Cheung E.

    Identification of a Wells-Dawson polyoxometalate-based-AP-2g inhibitor with pro-apoptotic activity. Biochem J. 2018. May 14

  • Klaus, M., Prokoph, N., Birbig, M., Wang, X., Huang, Y-H, Srivastava, Y., Hou, L., Kolatkar, PR, Francois, M., Jauch, R.

    Structure and decoy-mediated inhibition of the SOX18/Prox1-DNA interaction. Nucleic Acids Res. 2016. May 5;44(8):3922-35

  • Vivekanandan, S., Moovarkumudalvan, B., Lescar, J., Kolatkar, PR. (2015).

    Crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of the HMG domain of the chondrogenesis master regulator Sox9 in complex with a ChIP-Seq-identified DNA element. Acta Cryst F. Struct Biol. Commun.; 71(Pt 11):1437-41.

  • Aksoy I, et al. (2013).

    Sox transcription factors require selective interactions with Oct4 and specific transactivation functions to mediate reprogramming. Stem Cells; 31(12):2632-46.

  • Aksoy I, et al. (2013)

    Oct4 switches partnering from Sox2 to Sox17 to reinterpret the enhancer code and specify endoderm. EMBO J; 32(7): 938-53.

  • Jauch, R, et al. (2011).

    Conversion of Sox17 into a Pluripotency Reprogramming Factor by re-engineering its Association with Oct4 on DNA. Stem Cells; 29(6):940-51.

  • List of Publications on Pubmed.