Faculty and Staff
|School of Medicine|
Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
Dr. Karan’s research focuses on cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and to understand the role of inflammation in the development and progression of prostate cancer. Overall emphasis of his research is based on harnessing the power of immune system to improve its preventive and therapeutic efficacy against cancer cells using natural compounds, chemotherapy drugs and antigen-specific immunotherapy. Our laboratory research addresses the role of immune system in antitumor therapy, activation of antitumor responses and characterization of antitumor effector mechanisms specific to prostate cancer. In our laboratory, we developed an adenovirus (Ad)-based vaccine for a simultaneous targeting of prostate-specific antigens, and demonstrated its superior therapeutic efficacy in preclinical studies. We are actively pursuing our interest in translating this immunotherapy approach into the clinics.
In context with inflammation, we are studying the mechanistic role of Withaferin-A (WFA) in modulating inflammation-associated pathways to test our hypothesis that intake of dietary agent WFA will provide an anti-inflammatory environment in the prostate to prevent tumor development. Specifically, we are examining WFA-induced polarization of macrophages (tumor promoting or tumor suppressive) in the host and determine WFA-induced functional activity of natural killer cells. Additional studies are focused in understanding the role of inflammation in prostate tumor biology targeting macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1).
Dr. Karan is growing in the field of cancer immunology/immunotherapy research and is author or co-author of numerous publications. He has served as guest editor for special journal issue (Current Cancer Therapy Reviews 2012) in his field, and also serves as a reviewer member of grant applications and research articles.