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Vishal Chandra, PhD
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Vishal Chandra, PhD

Assistant Professor, Section of Gynecologic Oncology

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology

975 NE 10th Street, BRC 1268 B
Oklahoma City, OK  73104

(405)271-8001 X54314

Vishal Chandra, PhD is an Assistant Professor at the Stephenson Cancer Center (SCC), Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN), University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) who joined here as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015. Because of his successful acquisition of peer-reviewed National Cancer Institute (NCI) and private foundation research funding, and research track record as an early research career scientist, he was promoted to Assistant Professor of Research in 2017 and then to Assistant Professor in 2023. He has published 34+ peer-reviewed scientific articles and 2 book chapters in reputable journals.

Dr. Chandra is a creative, self-motivated investigator with the ability to effectively and productively participate in a multicultural environment. He is an outstanding team player, with impressive time management skills, resulting in the completion of multiple projects with significant results that hold promise for being translated into improved cancer prevention and treatment strategies. He teaches graduate-level courses and regularly mentor students, as well as basic science and clinical fellows, in hands-on laboratory-based research.  

The laboratory of Dr. Vishal Chandra is a part of a collaborative group focused on women’s cancers, including Drs. Doris Benbrook, Rajani Rai, and Bethany Hannafon. They have a large team of graduate students, basic science and clinical postdoctoral fellows, research assistants, and lab technicians who work together toward common goals.

Academic Section(s):

Gynecologic Oncology


2015-2017 Postdoctoral Fellow
Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

2013-2015 Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Cancer Cell and Molecular Biology
National Cancer Center, Seoul, South Korea

2009-2013 PhD in Bio-Sciences
"Inhibitory effect of 2, 3-diaryl-2H-1-benzopyran derivative on estrogen-induced uterine hyperplasia and endometrial cancer"
Integral University, Lucknow and Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow

2005 M.Sc in Biochemistry
Purvanchal University, Jaunpur, India

2003 B.Sc. in Chemistry and Botany
Lucknow University, Lucknow, India


2023-            Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

2021-             Serving as a key member in Animal Program Advisory Committee (APAC).

2020-             Associate Graduate Faculty member at College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

2019-             Associate Member of the Gynecologic Cancers Program, Stephenson Cancer Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

2017-             Assistant Professor of Research, Section of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

2007- 2013    Research fellow at Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow. 

2006              Research coordinator at National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources (NBFGR) Lucknow.

2005- 2006    Lecturer in Annie Besant College of Engineering Management, Gomati Nagar, Lucknow. Course instructor for graduate courses in biotechnology.

2005-             Research trainee at the Center for Cellular & Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, Hyderabad with Dr. K. Thangaraj and Late Dr. Lalji Sing (Father of Indian DNA fingerprinting),

2004-             Research trainee at School of Biotechnology BHU, Varanasi.

Clinical/Research Interests:

Dr. Chandra’s research is focused on the development and utilization of animal models to study how gynecologic cancers develop and can be prevented and treated. A major part of this work involves molecular, cellular, and tissue-level studies to understand the mechanisms of cancers and drugs.  His group is studying the efficacy, mechanism, and toxicity of novel anti-cancer agents and existing FDA-approved drugs for repurposing. They are also studying drug combinations to increase the preventive and therapeutic efficacies without increasing toxicity compared to current standard of care.  He has a proven track record in this orbit with publications in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 2023; Frontiers in Oncology, 2022; Cancers, 2021; 2020 and more.

His currently funded research projects include elucidating contributions of obesity, oncogenic signaling, and alterations of cellular metabolism and tumor immune microenvironment to the development and progression of gynecological cancers. He established an obesity and hormone-induced atypical endometrial hyperplasia rat model to investigate how these cancers develop and the efficacy of chemo-preventive drugs. His group has expertise in xenograft and PDX models of gynecological cancers for in vivo experimentation. Dr. Chandra’s expertise in elucidating the in-depth mechanisms of key pathways in pathophysiological states, coupled with comprehensive knowledge of cell signaling and molecular biology, gives him a unique edge in the successful execution of research.


  1. Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs)
    (07/01/2023 to 06/30/2028)
    Title: Targeting HSPA Proteins in Advanced and Recurrent Endometrial Cancer Therapy
    Role: Co- Investigator
  2. The Mary Kay Ash Foundation (MKAF)
    Title: Obesity Management Augmenting Endometrial Cancer Prevention.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. Foundation for Women’s Cancer
    Title: “GLP1 receptor agonist therapy in an obesity-induced rodent endometrial hyperplasia model”.
    Role: Institutional Principal Investigator
  4. IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE)
    Title: Localized delivery of SHetA2 for prevention of endometrial carcinogenesis.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  5. Presbyterian Health Foundation (PHF) Award
    (11/01/2021 - 10/30/2023)
    Title: Chemoprevention of Endometrial Carcinogenesis.
    Role: Principal Investigator
  6. Stephenson Cancer Center seed grant:
    (05/01/2021 - 12/31/2023)
    Title: Pyroptosis-inducing peptide nanofibers for ovarian cancer treatment.
    Role: Co-Principal Investigator
  7. Ultra-Botanica (Contract):
    (03/15/2022 – 12/31/2024)
    Title: Anticancer Efficacy and Toxicity of Natural Product Extracts.
    Role: Principal Investigatorr
  8. Investigator Initiated Trials Committee Pilot Grant Program, Stephenson Cancer Center
    01/01/2023 - 12/31/2023
    Title: Inhibition of Compensatory Glycolysis to Overcome Drug Resistance and Recurrence in Cervical Cancer
    Role: Co-Investigator (Dr. Rai, PI)

Select Publications:


  1. R. Rai, DK Dey, DM Benbrook, V Chandra. Niclosamide causes lysosome-dependent cell death in endometrial cancer cells and tumors. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Volume 161, May 2023, 114422.
  2. R Rai, V Chandra, AL Kennedy, RE Zuna, DM Benbrook. Distinct Mechanism of Cervical Cancer Cell Death Caused by the Investigational New Drug SHetA2. Frontiers in Oncology, section Gynecological Oncology. Front Oncol. 2022 Sep 20;12: 958536.
  3. V Chandra, R Rai, DM Benbrook, 2021. Utility and Mechanism of SHetA2 and Paclitaxel for Treatment of Endometrial Cancer, Cancers (Basel). 2021 May; 13(10): 2322.
  4. I Fatima, S Barman, R Rai, KW Thiel, V Chandra. 2021. Targeting Wnt Signaling in Endometrial Cancer, Cancers 2021, 13(10), 2351.
  5. R Rai, KG Essel, DM Benbrook, J Garland, YD Zhao, V Chandra. Preclinical Efficacy and Involvement of AKT, mTOR and ERK kinases in the Mechanism of Sulforaphane Against Endometrial Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2020 May 18;12(5):1273.
  6.  V Shukla, V Chandra, PL Sankhwar, P Popli, JB Kaushal, VK Sirohi, A Dwivedi. Phytoestrogen genistein inhibits EGFR/PI3K/NF-kB activation and induces apoptosis in human endometrial hyperplasia cells.  RSC Adv., 2015.5.56075-56085.
  7. V Chandra, JJ Kim, DM Benbrook, A Dwivedi, R Rai. Therapeutic options for management of endometrial hyperplasia. J Gynecol Oncol. 2016 Jan; 27(1).
  8. V Chandra, I Fatima, M Manohar, P Popli, VK Sirohi, MK Hussain, K Hajela, PL Sankhwar, A Dwivedi. Inhibitory effect of 2-(piperidinoethoxyphenyl)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-2H-benzo (b) pyran (K-1) on human primary endometrial hyperplasial cells mediated via combined suppression of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and PI3K/Akt survival pathway. Cell Death Dis. 2014,21;5: e1380.
  9. V Chandra, I Fatima, R Saxena, MK Hussain, K Hajela, PL Sankhwar, BG Roy, S Chandna, A Dwivedi. Anti-tumorigenic action of 2-[piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-[4-hydroxyphenyl]- 2H-benzo(b) pyran: evidence for involvement of GPR30/ EGFR signaling pathway. Gynecol Oncol. 2013;129(2):433-42.
  10. I Fatima, V Chandra, R. Sazena, M. Manohar, Y Sangharni, K Hajela, MP Negi, PL Sankhwar, SK Jain, A Dwivedi. 2,3-Diaryl-2H-1-benzopyran derivatives interfere with classical and non-classical estrogen receptor signaling pathways, inhibit Akt activation and induce apoptosis in human endometrial cancer cells. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Jan 2;348(1):198-210.
  11. V Chandra, I Fatima, R Saxena, S Kitchlu, S Sharma, MK Hussain, K Hajela, P Bajpai, A Dwivedi. Apoptosis induction and inhibition of hyperplasia formation by 2-[piperidinoethoxyphenyl]-3-[4-hydroxyphenyl]-2H-benzo(b)pyran in rat uterus. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011; 205(4):362: e1-11.

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