Shukla Research Lab


To unravel the molecular basis of asbestos-induced diseases including mesothelioma and lung cancer and develop therapeutic strategies.

  Our Team

cropIMG_5115-X3 Shukla Lab Group

 Overview of current areas of research and approaches

      Signaling pathways in mesothelioma: 

  • Our long-term research interests have been in studying cell signaling mechanisms of asbestos fiber-induced lung diseases including cancer and mesothelioma.
    • These mechanisms are explored in
      • human mesothelial cells
      • different mesothelioma cell lines
      • animal models
    • Potential of mechanisms to be targeted by different anti-cancer drugs in combination with pathway inhibitors
      • ERK cell signaling role in development of malignant mesothelioma (MM)
        • ERK 1, 2 & 5 and CREB are very important in mesothelioma pathogenesis
        • follow-up preclinical trial with ERK5 specific inhibitor XMD8-92

Inflammasomes in the pathogenesis of mesothelioma:

  • NIH funding to study the role of inflammation with special emphasis on inflammasomes in MM pathogenesis
    • Goals:
      • to reveal the role(s) of inflammasomes in development of asbestos-induced mesothelioma
      • to manipulate these pathways to develop potential therapeutic strategies
  • Assessing differential susceptibility of pleural and peritoneal mesothelial cells to asbestos
    • Utilizing Next Gen (Massive Parallel) sequencing
    • Internal financial support is helping us understand why pleural mesothelioma is more common than peritoneal mesothelioma 

Exosomes in development and therapy of mesothelioma:

  • Department of Defense funding is allowing us to explore the role(s) of exosomes
    • Goal
      • show if exosomes are carriers of information from asbestos exposed epithelial cells or macrophages to mesothelial cells for development of MM
      • identify exosome signature (proteins and miRNA) as biomarkers of asbestos exposure for early diagnosis of MM 

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