Chaitra Rao, PhD

Chaitra is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Emily Sims’ lab at the IU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases. She holds a BS in Biotechnology and an MS in Clinical Virology from Manipal University, Karnataka, India. Chaitra earned her PhD in Cancer Research from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

Chaitra’s work in Sims’ lab is focused on molecular and clinical analysis of islet beta cell-derived extracellular vesicles that can influence immune responses and contribute to the autoimmune process in type-1 diabetes. Her research involves investigating the role of beta cell extracellular vesicle PD-L1 in islet intercellular communication and exploring the heterogeneity of beta cell survival throughout the course of type-1 diabetes. ​