After obtaining her post-graduate degree in Biotechnology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Shweta Tyagi joined Dr. Sunil Lal for her Ph.D. at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi. Under Dr. Lal’s supervision, she worked on delineating the functions of the Hepatitis E virus protein ORF3. She isolated a liver specific precursor protein alpha1-microglobulin bikunin precursor (AMBP) by screening a cDNA liver library and showed that ORF3 has a direct biological role in enhancing AMBP processing and transport of the processed proteins, within the hepatocyte.
After completing her doctoral thesis, she joined the group of Prof. Winship Herr at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York and later at Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. In her post-doctoral project, she used the Herpes Simplex virus—Host cell factor, HCF-1—to probe transcriptional regulation in human cells. She focused on the roles of HCF-1 in cell proliferation by studying its association with sequence specific transcription factors like E2F. Her findings revealed that HCF-1 recruits the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) protein and SetD1A histone H3 lysine 4 methyltransferases to E2F-responsive promoters and induces cell-cycle-specific histone methylation and transcriptional activation to promote cell proliferation. Her further studies on role of E2F1 in DNA damage and apoptosis revealed that HCF-1 and MLL are required by E2F1 in more than one important pathway. Shweta joined the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics (CDFD), Hyderabad as a Group Leader in 2010. Her group focuses on understanding the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in cell-cycle progression and oncogenesis.