Research Interests: Pretheeban is interested in identifying the pro-myogenic signalling pathways regulated by mesenchymal progenitors (MPs) and inflammatory cells in myogenic cells during skeletal muscle regeneration. Activation, proliferation, differentiation and self-renewal of myogenic progenitors (satellite cells) depend on cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous regulatory mechanisms. A type of non-myogenic mesenchymal stem cells, called Fibro/adipogenic progenitors (FAPs) due to their prevalent developmental potential, proliferate upon muscle injury to generate a transient niche that actively regulates myogenic progression by providing both trophic and pro-myogenic signals to satellite cells. His project is to develop a method to investigate the signalling pathways activated in myogenic cells by FAPs and to identify small molecules capable of modulating the effects of FAPs on myogenic cells. Ultimate goal of his study is to identify compounds and therapeutic targets to stimulate regeneration in muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophy and prevent muscle loss in aging.

Biographical sketch: Pretheeban completed his undergraduate degree in Veterinary Medicine (B.V.Sc) at University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. He worked as a Junior Clinician at the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, University of Peradeniya for a year (Companion animal medicine and surgery, Elephant Tranquilization) and moved to University of British Columbia to follow doctoral study in Reproductive Physiology. His long time interest in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine lead him to join Fabio Rossi’s lab for the current postdoctoral training.

Publications: [link]

Other interests: Keen in poetry and drawing, Loves playing cricket, tennis and badminton.