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.
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.
Immune checkpoint therapies
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.