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Environmental Health and Engineering

The Research Program of
Shyam Biswal

lung cancer
Constitutive activation of Nrf2 in cancer cells upregulates antioxidant genes, drug detoxification enzymes and confers resistance against chemo- and radio-therapy, and promote tumorigenicity. Learn More
Ambient Air Pollution
Ambient air pollution, which is responsible for 3.2 million deaths per year, is most commonly associated with urban environments and includes combustion products from many sources, including vehicle exhaust, factories, power plants, incinerators, and furnaces. Learn More
Electronic cigarettes have been introduced as a safe alternative to smoking. We have been studying the biological and physiological effects in cells, animal models as well as users for generating the knowledge base that could guide public health policies. Learn More
research associate
A Research Associate position in Molecular Biology/Cancer Biology available immediately to study the mechanisms of redox regulation and cancer metabolism. Learn More


Research Associate Opportunity

Research Associate position is available immediately to study the mechanisms of redox regulation and cancer metabolism.

Mice Exposure Core


Shyam Biswal, PhD
Director, PhD Track
Toxicology, Physiology & Molecular Mechanisms

Research Foci

Oxidative stress, metabolic adaptation and therapeutic resistance of cancer

We discovered that non small cell lung cancer frequently develop gain of function in Nrf2 due to KEAP1 mutations, which increases antioxidants and alters metabolism to drive tumor growth and cause therapeutic resistance. This has changed the paradigm in cancer biology and develop our understanding of dark side of antioxidants in cancer cells. Our current effort will help unravel mechanisms of oncogenic cooperation and metabolic adaptation using patient-derived xenografts in humanized immunocompetent mice and GEM models.

Health effects of air pollution on oxidative stress and metabolism

We are interested in understanding the systemic and pulmonary effects of air pollution. In collaboration with Dr. Sanjay Rajagopalan, we are studying how chronic exposure to air pollution affects epigenetic reprogramming, leading to alterations in metabolism and insulin resistance.

Health effects due to emerging tobacco products

Over the past 5 years, there has been exponential growth in the use of electronic cigarettes and water-pipes, which are emerging public health concerns. We are studying health effects associated with chronic use of electronic-cigarettes and water-pipe smoking in young adults. Our clinical trial is investigating longitudinal alterations in the oral microbiome and early biomarkers of cardiovascular and respiratory health in young adult e-cigarette users, which may guide product regulations.