My research focuses on atopic dermatitis (AD), AD infection and therapeutic interventions to curtail AD infection. I became interested in this area of study as skin has always fascinated me. It's the body's largest organ and provides the first line of defense to protect the body. I have been fortunate enough to study various aspects of insults that occur to the skin and to determine how skin function can be restored.
Imbalance in the microbial community is reported in chronic inflammatory diseases such as AD. Staphylococcus (S.) aureus plays a critical role in the progression and development of AD. For many years, significant research efforts have been directed at studying S. aureus infection in lesional skin of AD. Our interest is to identify the association between S. aureus and skin barrier protein filaggrin, particularly in non-lesional skin. Our lab's goal is to determine how S. aureus infection can be curtailed in non-lesional AD skin.
Dr. Khurana Hershey’s lab has assembled the first US-based early life cohort, Mechanisms of Progression from AD to Asthma in Children (MPAACH), with over 650 children with AD. The S. aureus strains isolated from the lesional and non-lesional skin of patients from MPAACH study will be utilized to perform various genetic and molecular studies to determine the common virulent genes between the strains. Our lab's long-term goal is to develop small-molecule pharmaceutical inhibitors to prevent S. aureus infection in the non-lesioned skin so progression to lesional skin can be prevented.
Some of our lab's groundbreaking discoveries include:
I am honored to have received several awards, including:
I have more than 20 years of research experience in various studies related to skin and joined the Cincinnati Children's research team in 2021.
BS: Zoology, University of Madras, Chennai, India.
MS: Zoology, University of Madras, Chennai, India.
MPhil: Zoology, University of Madras, Chennai, India.
PhD: Biotechnology/Zoology, University of Madras, Chennai, India.
Post-Doctoral: Research Fellow Training, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Pathology, Pittsburgh, PA.