Varsha Gandhi, Ph.D.
Project Involvement: Project 2
Dr. Gandhi is an Ashbel Smith Professor and Director of Education and Faculty Mentoring in the Department of Experimental Therapeutics, with a joint appointment in the Department of Leukemia at University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She serves as a Co-Director of the Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology. Her research focuses on drug discovery and combination chemotherapy for patients with hematological malignancies. A special emphasis is paid on the metabolic and mechanistic aspects of novel therapeutics. Based on this knowledge, her group designs new combination approaches that are tested in the laboratory and validated in the clinic.
Pertaining to Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemias, her recent efforts have focused on testing novel nucleoside analogues for this disease. She is serving as a chair for the upcoming Gordon Research Conference on 'Nucleosides, Nucleotides, and Oligonucleotides'. Her recent work has identified cellular and molecular mechanisms for efficacy of nelarabine in CLL. Currently her group is focusing on understanding the mechanism of action of Bcl-2 antagonists and Pim kinase inhibitors for therapy of CLL.
Dr. Gandhi is a recipient of the Faculty Scholar Award from M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Potu N. Rao Basic Science Research Award from the Division of Cancer Medicine, Aventis Drug Development Award, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Translational Research Awards. She has served on grant review study sections for NIH (Experimental Therapeutics I). She currently chairs the NIH study section Drug Development and Molecular Pharmacology. At present, she serves on the editorial boards for journals such as Blood and Clinical Cancer Research, and is an Associate Editor for Leukemia and Lymphoma.