Coach and Cheer a Latino Student to College

Latino U pic

Latino U
Image: latinoucollege.org

Madhu Kumar is a scientific researcher who has studied lung cancer mutations, immune checkpoint therapies, and molecular diagnostics, among other topics. Outside of his work as a scientific advisor for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, Madhu Kumar supports Latino U.

Latino U is a national nonprofit organization that provides support, both financially and otherwise, to first-generation Latino students who desire to attend college. The organization looks to improve the futures of these students by hosting a variety of college coaching programs and workshops, as well as a community of support made up of similar individuals.

The organization’s programs include discussions on paying for college and taking out student loans, as well as a FAFSA boot camp. Latino U encourages those who wish to volunteer and get involved on a personal level to become “College Coaches.” A College Coach is assigned to a low-income Latino high school student who is close to graduating. The College Coach works to provide assistance for the student in filling out college applications and writing scholarship and admission essays.


 

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White Plains Youth Bureau ASC Program

 

After School Connection pic

After School Connection
Image:whiteplainsyouthbureau.org

Dr. Madhu Kumar serves as a tutor with several charitable organizations, including Girls Inc., and Latino U. Dr. Madhu Kumar also works for the City of White Plains Youth Bureau as a

mentor.

The City of White Plains Youth Bureau hosts a number of important youth services and programs, including the After School Connection. Through the After School Connection (ASC) program, youths can enjoy both structured and dynamic learning experiences, all under the aegis of an experienced and dedicated staff. Targeted towards children between kindergarten and the eighth grade, ASC seeks to stimulate participants on a number of levels, including intellectually, emotionally, socially, and physically.

Families and youths who enjoy the ASC program can visit http://www.whiteplainsyouthbureau.org to learn about the ASC full day vacation camp. Camps are held during both the winter and spring school vacation weeks. The program is also involved with community organizations such as the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America.

Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA Can Help Doctors Screen for Cancer

Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA pic

Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA
Image: nature.com

Accomplished researcher Madhu Kumar has contributed to recent developments in cancer screening and diagnostics. Madhu Kumar’s work centers on cancer therapy and the applications of DNA in cancer identification.

Researchers have been in pursuit of a reliable cancer biomarker for many years. The variable and mutative nature of cancer made this difficult until a few years ago. Now, scientists are using DNA from tumors to help identify the presence of cancer faster.

As tumor cells naturally die off, they release bits of their DNA into the patient’s bloodstream. These pieces are known as cell-free circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA. These particles make it easier to find cancer even when a biopsy is not practical.

Scientists first looked at 187 patients who had 17 different varieties of cancer. In addition to finding ctDNA mutations in some patients’ blood, researchers discovered that there is a correlation between cancer stage and ctDNA concentration. This suggests that ctDNA testing can help screen for cancer at any stage, and could help physicians monitor tumors throughout treatment.

Uses of Genetic Testing

Genetic Testing pic

Genetic Testing
Image: WebMD.com

Dr. Madhu Kumar, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a scientific advisor and consultant based in New York. One of Dr. Madhu Kumar’s areas of professional focus is molecular diagnostics, the tenants of which provide the foundation for disease risk management and genetic testing.

Our genes contain the basic building blocks of our biological functions and are passed from mother and father onto the child. Genetic testing, completed by certified professionals, assesses these genes to give patients a better understanding of their genetic background. This knowledge can come in handy in a variety of ways, from helping to diagnose diseases to singling out genetic shifts that might pass to children.

But perhaps the prime benefit of genetic testing is its ability to allow individuals to take preventive measures to monitor, screen, and make changes to their lifestyles depending on the test’s outcome. Individuals who have a clear idea of their genetic background can be prepared for potential health risks later in life.

Reanalysis of Scientific Evidence Leads to Exonerations

New England Innocence Project pic

New England Innocence Project
Image: newenglandinnocence.org

Madhu Kumar, most recently a scientific advisor with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, is an experienced biologist who has assisted the law firm with patent applications within the fields of pharmaceuticals, life sciences, and computers. In addition, Madhu Kumar has volunteered his time as a consultant for the New England Innocence Project.

Wrongful convictions can be devastating to the innocent party as well as to their families. In addition, when a person is convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, justice is averted and the public is at risk, as the guilty party is still free to commit additional crimes. The New England Innocence Project (NEIP) is a pro bono legal organization that exists to help people who have claims of innocence in New England. In addition to the small legal staff at NEIP, interns from area law schools and professionals that volunteer their scientific and technical expertise work diligently to help reverse wrongful convictions. To date, the efforts of the organization have led to 39 exonerations.

Eyewitness misidentification is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions. Though eyewitness testimony is extremely convincing, it is not always reliable. In fact, eyewitness testimony was a major factor in over 75 percent of the first 255 post-conviction DNA based exonerations.

Invalidated forensic science is also a major factor in wrongful convictions. Hair, fiber, and bite-mark analysis are all examples of invalidated forensic science. This type of evidence has played a role in over 50 percent of the convictions that were later reversed due to DNA evidence.

The staff at the New England Innocence Project, as well as professional volunteers and interns, are all committed to continuing their efforts to prove the innocence of those who are wrongly convicted. The re-examination of scientific evidence, in addition to DNA technologies, has made exoneration possible for many who have been wrongly accused.

The Science behind Immune Checkpoint Therapy

Immune checkpoint therapies Image: lymphomation.org

Immune checkpoint therapies
Image: lymphomation.org

 

A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Madhu Kumar recently served as a scientific advisor at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati. Madhu Kumar specializes in molecular biology and in recent years has been interested in cancer-related topics including immune checkpoint therapy.

Immune checkpoint therapy as a discipline has seen significant clinical developments throughout the years and is seen as a new weapon to curb cancer. In clinical trials where this therapy has been utilized, a considerable number of patients with cancer have experienced long-term remission.

This therapy mainly relies on a natural component of the body: the immune system. A vital component of the immune system is the ability to recognize normal and foreign cells, thus giving the immune system an idea which cells to attack. In order to do this, the immune system uses checkpoints, a term used for molecules found on certain immune cells that have to be either activated or inactivated in order to trigger an immune response.

Cancer cells can sometimes use these checkpoints to hide from the body’s immune system, so the main idea behind immune checkpoint therapy is to inhibit these checkpoints and boost the immune response against cancer cells.

What Is Immune Checkpoint Therapy?

Immune checkpoint therapies Image: lymphomation.org

Immune checkpoint therapies
Image: lymphomation.org

 

Dr. Madhu Kumar is an alumnus of MIT, where he earned his PhD in biology. Since then, Madhu Kumar has pursued research on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers and maintains a particular professional interest in immune checkpoint therapies.

When the human body is invaded by disease, whether caused by a bacterium, parasite, virus, fungus, or cancer cell, it triggers a reaction in certain immune cells, known as T cells, which, in turn, produce an immune system response. The T cells are triggered by the activation (or deactivation) of molecules on their surface, called checkpoint molecules. Many cancers use these checkpoint molecules to avoid triggering an immune system response. One of these molecules, known as PD-1 or PD-L1, tells T cells to leave a given cell alone, and some cancers have large amounts of PD-L1, which helps them avoid attack.

Immune checkpoint therapies target molecules such as PD-L1 by introducing antibodies to the molecule in the vicinity of the cancer. This boosts the immune response to cancers and has had promising results in treating cancers such as melanoma of the skin, non-small-cell lung cancer, kidney cancer, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.