Dr. Mondal obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Louisiana State University Medical Center (LSUMC) under the guidance of Dr. Luftig. His thesis research was on ‘The regulation of HIV-1 LTR-directed gene expression via the transactivator (Tat) protein’. During these investigations, he gained experience in molecular biology, cloning and HIV infectivity protocols. In 1996, he joined Dr. Krishna C. Agrawal’s laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology at Tulane University Medical Center (TUMC) in New Orleans, LA, as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2003, he was promoted to assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology. Dr.
Mondal’s current research interest is focused on developing novel strategies to increase the efficacies of chemotherapeutic drugs by using a combination of pharmacological and gene therapy approaches. Despite the availability of potent chemotherapeutics, the induction of multidrug resistance (MDR) is a formidable challenge to drug pharmacokinetics in vivo. Two approaches are being investigated to target and chemosensitize prostate cancer cells in sequestered bone-tumor foci. The first project focuses on tumor site-specific delivery of the prodrug ganciclovir. His laboratory has evidence that tumor-tropic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be genetically engineered to activate the anticancer effects of ganciclovir. Secondly, his team is investigating the role of oxidative stress and Nrf2, a transcription factor that regulates ROS signaling, in aggressive prostate tumors. They envision that by altering Nrf2-mediated signaling pathways, they can both suppress tumor growth and enhance chemosensization in prostate cancer cells.