Inside My Lab: Michael Kharas

VIDEO | 02:13

Go inside the lab of Michael Kharas from SKI’s Molecular Pharmacology Program.

Show transcript

"What are you working on?"

"I'm checking on the GFP expression on these leukemia cells."


I knew from a young age that I wanted to develop new drugs to treat disease.

"You have 10 in the CRE-ER"

My name is Michael Kharas. I'm an associate member in the Molecular Pharmacology Program at Sloan Kettering Institute.

"We can actually mark how the stem cells divide."

Inside my laboratory, we study normal blood development, and how blood stem cells make important cell fate decisions. We study the pathways that regulate those decisions, and how they become hijacked in cancer. We're also trying to develop therapeutics against specific targets that are important in cancer. Where most labs may only be focusing on the basic biology or drug development, we're able to do basically both in our laboratory.

Postdocs and graduate students in my lab can expect a high-paced environment that is very collaborative. That requires collaboration within the group, but also requires collaboration from different people from all around the world.

"This is the FOXP3 CRE-ER line."

You really need to leverage those expertise together in order to drive the science in the best way possible.

"These are the pseudotime analysis using the single-cell RNA-seq data."

My philosophy to mentoring is to come in to help the student or postdoc try to look at a larger picture, and expand out and try to push the science, and to be more impactful, and also not to be stuck in details of a particular experiment.

"These are the leukemia cells, and the GFP."

A young researcher should really be thinking about what they're most excited and what they're most passionate about, but also what they're good at. They really want to meld those two ideas together, and then they can make anything happen.