For over 25 years, the Mukhtar laboratory has devoted large efforts aimed at developing novel mechanism-based dietary agents for prevention and treatment of skin diseases and cancer. In early work, the laboratory employed chemically induced mouse skin tumor model system which was extended to mouse model of photo-carcinogenesis, a system more relevant to human skin cancer and later extended to other tumor model systems of lung, colon, prostate and pancreatic cancers. The Mukhtar laboratory was the first to establish potential role of green tea polyphenols for prevention of skin (both chemical and photo-carcinogenesis models), lung and prostate cancers. It was also the first to define potential cancer chemopreventive effects of a wide variety of dietary agents, most notably of ginger, lupeol, fisetin and pomegranate. Over the years the laboratory has devoted large efforts in defining molecular targets of cancer chemoprevention in various organ sites and also established several biomarkers which are predictive of cancer chemopreventive outcomes. This laboratory was also the first to provide the information about prostate cancer chemoprevention by oral infusion of green tea polyphenols and then to provide information about molecular targets for these effects. The Mukhtar laboratory was also the first to establish the use of nanotechnology for prevention of cancer and to coin the term “nanochemoprevention”. Currently the laboratory is working on novel dietary agents present in pigmented fruits and vegetables for the treatment of psoriasis. The Mukhtar laboratory has expertise in molecular and cellular biology, biomarker assessment and considerable experience with the use of various animal tumor bioassays of induced and transgenic models.
Following are snippets of research areas being pursued in the laboratory: