Dr Niharika Nath, Associate Professor of Life Sciences, is a cancer biologist and she focuses on cancer prevention with novel compounds. She received her bachelors in Pharmacy and a master’s degree in Biotechnology from India, doctorate degree (PhD) in Biochemical Engineering & Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology at New Delhi, focusing on the molecular biology of plasmid DNA. Her postdoctoral work at Columbia University and City University of New York on cancer biology brought her into the area of cancer chemoprevention with new types of drugs such as nitric oxide-releasing and hydrogen sulfide-releasing aspirin and other NSAID derivatives that have potential to be used in the prevention and treatment of cancers of the breast, colon and pancreas. Her research examines the signaling pathways that play roles in carcinogenesis and progression of cancers of colorectal, breast, pancreas including T-cell leukemia, with the goal of regulating these pathways by novel compounds that release gasotransmitters, such as nitric oxide and hydrogen sulfide. The novel agents are derivatives of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example, aspirin and are examined in appropriate cell culture and animal models. Main focus of study are modulation of the Wnt/ beta-catenin signaling pathway which is a dysregulated early event in colorectal cancer, as well as the interplay of transcription factor NF-kappaB, the enzyme cyclooxygenase-2, nitric oxide synthase enzyme and apoptotic pathway proteins on cell growth, apoptosis and inflammation. The questions posed at the molecular level are possibility of signaling through protein nitrosylation or protein sulfhydration.
Biography Updated on 15 April 2013