Dr. Bakul Dhagat-Mehta serves as a Senior Research Specialist at Cancer Research Center, Columbia, MO, USA. She earned her doctoral degree from Michigan Technological University (MTU), Houghton, MI, USA. Her doctoral work involved studying the various catalytic and structural aspects of phytases from lily pollen including; specificity of hydrolysis, molecular weight and subunit structure, amino acid sequence and molecular biology. Phytases are the primary enzymes responsible for the degradation of phytic acid, myo-inositol hexakis phosphate, which is the major storage form of inositol phosphates. Her work at MTU has been published in well-known peer reviewed journals.
Dr. Bakul Dhagat-Mehta’s current research interest involves developing a novel targeted cancer therapy. Bacterial strains, including Salmonella, specifically target and kill tumor cells. Her lab has developed a Salmonella strain that selectively kills mouse and human neuroendocrine prostate cancer cells. Her research interests include mechanistic work on how Salmonella kills cancer cells. This study on mechanistic insight has led to the identification of several promising combination therapy candidates, including a combination therapy approach that specifically and potently destroys end-stage aggressive human (neuroendocrine) prostate cancer cells. Conventional cancer chemotherapies do not discriminate between normal and cancer cells, causing undesirable side effects for patients and limited long term benefits. Bacterial cancer therapy (BCT) strategies offer an opportunity to address this challenge.