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Vijaya Sudhakara Rao Kola

Date published: March 20, 2024

March Postdoctoral Spotlight: Vijaya Sudhakara Rao Kola, PhD

This month, we feature Vijaya Sudhakara Rao Kola, PhD, as our Postdoc Spotlight. Dr. Kola is a postdoc in the lab of Dr. Matthew Hemming in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. 



I am from Vijayawada, located in the Andhra Pradesh Southern part of India. The city name symbolizes “Vijaya means victory” and is referred to as an educational city in our state.  

What is your research focus?
My research focuses on developing new therapies for Sarcoma. With limited knowledge of their underlying biology, scientists are unable to develop targeted treatments for these tumors. This lack of understanding prevents scientists from zeroing in on specific faulty molecular pathways or genes and dismantling the tumor. Currently, I’m working on alveolar soft part sarcoma and gastrointestinal stromal tumor biology to identify new therapeutic approaches and screenings using molecular, genetic, and pharmacological approaches.   

Why did you choose UMass Chan for your postdoctoral studies? 
I chose UMass Chan because of its strong commitment to academic excellence and its vibrant community, which exposes me to learning and understanding higher standards for my scientific growth. I was particularly drawn to the innovative research being conducted by Dr. Matthew Hemming, who is my PI. I admire him for his strong support and encouragement and I’m deeply passionate about learning cancer biology. This opportunity helped me to collaborate with talented scientists, colleagues, and students at UMass. I believe that by exploring this research area, I can make a significant contribution to Sarcoma treatment. Additionally, this research aligns with my interests and expertise, allowing me to leverage my skills and knowledge to make a meaningful impact on my career development. I’m excited about the potential for discovery and innovation in this area, and I’m committed to advancing our understanding and knowledge in this field.  

Where is your favorite place to travel for vacation and why?
I love to visit the places where nature explains our existence and to learn about historical sites for experience.  

What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play?
I grew up playing badminton and cricket. I enjoy a lot watching World Cup cricket matches.