Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Building
12850 East Montview Boulevard
Aurora, CO 80045
I am a second year graduate student (toxicology) in Dr. Rajesh Agarwal’s Lab, working on investigating the mechanisms of toxicity of several chemical warfare agents (CWAs). CWAs cause toxicity of almost all external and internal body organs, but mostly to the organs that are in direct contact with external environment or the organs exposed to the environmental factors. These include, skin (the largest body organ) and ocular tissues (one of the most sensitive body organ). We found that CWAs like sulfur mustard (HD), nitrogen mustard (an HD analogue), and lewisite cause toxicity by increasing oxidative stress in the exposed organ that eventually leads to blister formation, scarring, and permanent organ failure (blindness) in severe/high dose exposures. This is just one of the several modes of action upon CWA exposures. We are currently exploring other signaling pathways associated to these toxicity-induced injuries. Ultimate goal of the ongoing research in our lab is to find the therapeutic targets that can be used to develop effective interventions against CWA-induced injuries.
Additionally, I also worked with various cancer models (skin, pancreatic, and prostate cancers) to increase our understanding of the mechanism of cancer initiation, progression, and metastasis. Our research has proposed the use of plant base compounds like, silibinin, grapes seed extracts (GSE), and bitter melon juice (BMJ) for the preventive and curative therapeutics in skin and pancreatic cancers.