Dr. Mitra received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Mumbai, India. She did her postdoctoral training at the University of Chicago and worked as a research faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research interest is to understand the role of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in cancer signaling and mechanisms leading to cancer progression. Using molecular and cell biology approaches, multi-omics, and animal models, her laboratory studies the novel regulators of ovarian cancer signaling and tests them for the novel adjuvant therapies.
Cancer cells exhibit high metabolic demand, chromosomal instability, DNA damage, and oxidative stress, which exacerbate misfolded, unfolded, and damaged protein burden resulting in increased proteotoxicity. Dr. Mitra's studies have revealed the role of a deubiquitinase, ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1) in mechanisms regulating protein homeostasis in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). They have demonstrated that the proteasome subunit alpha 7 (PSMA7)-acylaminoacyl peptide hydrolase (APEH)-proteasome axis mediates proteostasis and HGSOC growth. They are understanding (i) the molecular mechanisms by which ovarian cancer cells cope with proteotoxic stress, which favors their growth and progression, (ii) the role of unfolded protein response in ovarian cancer signaling, (iii) the effect of combining the small-molecule inhibitors of UPS with platinum drugs on HGSOC.