Research Summary

Bhairavi Tolani, Ph.D. provides research mentorship and supervision to surgical residents in UCSF's program as well as visiting thoracic surgeons, technicians and high school students. Dr. Tolani's research is focused on developing targeted therapies, small molecule inhibitors and biologics, for lung cancer.

Over the past 13 years, Dr. Tolani's cancer research experience has been diverse including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer and hematological malignancies spanning academia, industry and the National Institutes of Health. Prior to graduate school, she worked at 3 biotechnology companies [Invitrogen Life Technologies, Lonza, & Digene (Qiagen)] for 3 years. While at Digene, she contributed to the development of a test to detect cervical cancer in women. Concurrently she earned her M.S. in Biomedical Sciences while conducting her thesis research on cancer stem cells and the Hedgehog pathway in breast cancer at the National Cancer Institute.

Research Funding

  • July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 - Pancreatic Cancer and Autophagy, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: UCSF RAP Pilot Award, Sponsor Award ID:
  • July 1, 2019 - January 20, 2021 - Autophagy Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy in Pancreatic Cancers, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Hellman Family Awards for Early Career Faculty, Sponsor Award ID:
  • July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020 - Pancreatic Cancer and Autophagy, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: UCSF RAP Pilot Award, Sponsor Award ID:
  • July 1, 2019 - January 25, 2021 - Autophagy Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy in Pancreatic Cancers, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: Hellman Family Awards for Early Career Faculty, Sponsor Award ID:

Education

Hood College B.A. 2001-2004 Biochemistry
Hood College and National Cancer Institute (thesis), M.S., 2005-2007, Biomedical Sciences
University of Southern California, Ph.D., 2007-2013, Molecular Biology
Stanford Research Institute, Postdoc, 2013-2014, Cancer Immunology
University of California, San Francisco, Postdoc, 2014-2015, Translational Oncology

Honors & Awards

  • 2004
    "Outstanding Poster Presentation" Spring Research Festival, National Cancer Institute
  • 2004
    Job Excellence, Invitrogen Life Technologies
  • 2005
    “No Matter What it Takes”, Cambrex BioScience (Lonza)
  • 2010
    "Best Poster" at Biology Interdept. Grad Symposium, University of Southern California
  • 2014
    Keller Entrepreneurship Fellow, University of California, Davis
  • 2019
    Pancreatic Cancer and Autophagy - UCSF RAP Pilot Award
  • 2019
    Autophagy Inhibition as a Therapeutic Strategy in Pancreatic Cancers - Hellman Family Awards for Early Career Faculty

Selected Publications

  1. Marsh T, Tolani B, Debnath J The pleiotropic functions of autophagy in metastasis.  View on PubMed
  2. Blay V, Tolani B, Ho SP, Arkin MR High-Throughput Screening: today's biochemical and cell-based approaches.  View on PubMed
  3. Jiang L, Tolani B, Yeh CC, Fan Y, Reza JA, Horvai AE, Xia E, Kratz JR, Jablons DM, Mann MJ Differential gene expression identifies KRT7 and MUC1 as potential metastasis-specific targets in sarcoma.  View on PubMed
  4. Hoang NT, Acevedo LA, Mann MJ, Tolani B A review of soft-tissue sarcomas: translation of biological advances into treatment measures.  View on PubMed
  5. Tolani B, Hoang NT, Acevedo LA, Giroux Leprieur E, Li H, He B, Jablons DM Preclinical characterization of therapeutic antibodies targeted at the carboxy-terminus of Sonic hedgehog.  View on PubMed
  6. Tolani B, Acevedo LA, Hoang NT, He B Heterogeneous Contributing Factors in MPM Disease Development and Progression: Biological Advances and Clinical Implications.  View on PubMed
  7. Chang Y, Tolani B, Nie X, Zhi X, Hu M, He B Review of the clinical applications and technological advances of circulating tumor DNA in cancer monitoring.  View on PubMed
  8. Giroux Leprieur E, Tolani B, Li H, Leguay F, Hoang NT, Acevedo LA, Jin JQ, Tseng HH, Yue D, Kim IJ, Wislez M, Wang C, Jablons DM, He B Membrane-bound full-length Sonic Hedgehog identifies cancer stem cells in human non-small cell lung cancer.  View on PubMed
  9. Li H, Yue D, Jin JQ, Woodard GA, Tolani B, Luh TM, Giroux-Leprieur E, Mo M, Chen Z, Che J, Zhang Z, Zhou Y, Wang L, Hao X, Jablons D, Wang C, He B Gli promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human lung adenocarcinomas.  View on PubMed
  10. Yue D, Li H, Che J, Zhang Y, Tolani B, Mo M, Zhang H, Zheng Q, Yang Y, Cheng R, Jin JQ, Luh TW, Yang C, Tseng HH, Giroux-Leprieur E, Woodard GA, Hao X, Wang C, Jablons DM, He B EMX2 Is a Predictive Marker for Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Lung Squamous Cell Carcinomas.  View on PubMed
  11. Gopalakrishnan R, Matta H, Tolani B, Triche T, Chaudhary PM Immunomodulatory drugs target IKZF1-IRF4-MYC axis in primary effusion lymphoma in a cereblon-dependent manner and display synergistic cytotoxicity with BRD4 inhibitors.  View on PubMed
  12. Mo ML, Ma J, Chen Z, Wei B, Li H, Zhou Y, Shi H, Tolani B, Jin JQ, Tseng HH, Shen D, Zhan Y, Li J, Jablons DM, Zhang RQ, Guo Y, He B, Zhou HM Measurement of genome-wide DNA methylation predicts survival benefits from chemotherapy in non-small cell lung cancer.  View on PubMed
  13. Tolani B, Matta H, Gopalakrishnan R, Punj V, Chaudhary PM NEMO is essential for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus-encoded vFLIP K13-induced gene expression and protection against death receptor-induced cell death, and its N-terminal 251 residues are sufficient for this process.  View on PubMed
  14. Tolani B, Gopalakrishnan R, Punj V, Matta H, Chaudhary PM Targeting Myc in KSHV-associated primary effusion lymphoma with BET bromodomain inhibitors.  View on PubMed
  15. Graham C, Matta H, Yang Y, Yi H, Suo Y, Tolani B, Chaudhary PM Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus oncoprotein K13 protects against B cell receptor-induced growth arrest and apoptosis through NF-?B activation.  View on PubMed
  16. Matta H, Gopalakrishnan R, Graham C, Tolani B, Khanna A, Yi H, Suo Y, Chaudhary PM Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus encoded viral FLICE inhibitory protein K13 activates NF-?B pathway independent of TRAF6, TAK1 and LUBAC.  View on PubMed

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