Dev Karan

Dev Karan, PhD

Assistant Professor,

School of Medicine, University of South Carolina


Dr. Karan’s research focuses on cancer immunology and immunotherapy, and the understanding of 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. His 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. His research team developed an adenovirus (Ad)-based vaccine for a simultaneous targeting of prostate-specific antigens, and demonstrated its superior therapeutic efficacy in preclinical studies. They are actively pursuing their interest in translating this immunotherapy approach into clinics.

In context of inflammation, they are studying the mechanistic role of Withaferin-A (WFA) in modulating inflammation-associated pathways to test their hypothesis that intake of dietary agent WFA will provide an anti-inflammatory environment in the prostate to prevent tumor development. Specifically, they 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 on the understanding of the role of inflammation in prostate tumor biology targeting macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1).

Dr. Karan is a rising star in the field of cancer immunology/immunotherapy research and has authored and co-authored numerous publications. He has served as guest editor for a special journal issue (Current Cancer Therapy Reviews 2012) in his field, and also serves as a reviewer of grant applications and research articles. Dr. Karan received his Ph.D. in Biosciences from India (University of Rohtak). Right after a a short training at CNRS in France, he completed his postdoctoral training at UNMC Omaha and the University of Iowa where he worked on various aspects of prostate cancer.

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