About Dr. Bhalla
Dr. Bhalla is a nationally and internationally recognized physician scientist for his original basic/translational research findings that have led to the clinical testing of novel targeted agents or combinations for the therapy of leukemia and myeloproliferative neoplasms. Dr. Bhalla currently serves as a Professor and Kelcie Kana Research Chair in the Leukemia Department of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX. Until 2014, he was a Full Member and the Scientific and Medical Director of the Cockrell Center for Advanced Therapeutics and Co-Director of the Phase Clinical Research Unit of the Houston Methodist Research Institute. In the past, Dr. Bhalla served as the Deputy Director of University of Kansas Cancer Center and Founding Director of the Medical College of Georgia Cancer Center. A graduate of the University of Delhi’s Maulana Azad Medical College in India, he completed internships in Pathology and Internal Medicine and a residency in Internal Medicine in the US. Following a Post-doctoral Fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, he served as a Professor on the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina, Emory University, University of Miami and University of South Florida. He is Board-certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology. He is a past recipient of the American Cancer Society’s Career Development Award, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America’s Fellow and Scholar Awards. He also served as the Eminent Scholar of Georgia Research Alliance, Distinguished Cancer Scientist of Georgia Cancer Coalition and Kansas Bioscience Authority Eminent Scholar. He has been formerly a member of Experimental Therapeutics II and Basic Mechanisms of Cancer Therapy, and Chairperson of the Developmental Therapeutics Study Section. He is the author of more than 220 scholarly articles on cancer research. Dr. Bhalla’s current basic and translational research is supported by multiple NCI RO1 grants of which he is the principal investigator. His research is focused on cancer epigenetics, sigaling and chaperone biology, with the goal to pre-clinically develop novel targeted therapies of leukemia and lymphoma. This research involves elucidating the biology of potential therapeutic targets and mechanisms of activity and resistance to the novel anti-cancer agents that engage the targets and the cancer-specific dependencies. These targets include mutant signaling proteins, molecular chaperones and epigenetic modifiers (writers, eraser and reader proteins). Specifically, the research focus is on mutant NPM1, FLT3 and epigenetic targets such as KDM1A, BET proteins and polycomb complex 2. This research also includes the elucidation of the predictive biomarkers of clinical efficacy of the novel anticancer agents or their combinations.
Professor, Department of Leukemia, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Kelcie Kana Research Chair, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
|1976||Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi, Delhi, IND, MD, Medical School|
|1970||University of Delhi, Delhi, IND, Pre-Med, Inter-Science|
|1983||Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine, Subspecialty of Medical Oncology|
|1982||Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine, Subspecialty of Hematology|
|1979||Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine|
|2011||Member Scientific Program Committee, Track Leader, Tumor Biology, American Society of Clinical Oncology|
|2010||Eminent Scholar, Kansas Bioscience Authority|
|2008||Distinguished Cancer Scholar, Georgia Cancer Coalition|
|2007||Chair, Lymphoid Neoplasia Committee, American Society of Hematology|
|2006||Cecil F. Whitaker Eminent Scholar in Cancer, Georgia Research Alliance|
|2006||Chair, Neoplasia Committee, American Society of Hematology|
|2005||Member Scientific Program Committee, Developmental Therapeutics, American Society of Clinical Oncology|
|2004||Member Scientific Program Committee, Breast Track, American Society of Clinical Oncology|
|1993||Health Science Foundation Developing Scholar Award, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC|
|1992||Leukemia Society of America Scholar Award, Leukemia Society of America|
|1985||American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Career Development Award, American Cancer Society|
|1983||Leukemia Society of America Fellow Award, Leukemia Society of America|
|1969||National Science Talent Search Scholarship, India|
- Fiskus W, Mill CP, Perera D, Birdwell C, Deng Q, Yang H, Lara BH, Jain N, Burger J, Ferrajoli A, Davis JA, Saenz DT, Jin W, Coarfa C, Crews CM, Green MR, Khoury JD, Bhalla KN. BET proteolysis targeted chimera-based therapy of novel models of Richter Transformation Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma. Leukemia 35(9):2621-2634, 2021. e-Pub 2021. PMID: 33654205.
- Fiskus W, Mill CP, Nabet B, Perera D, Birdwell C, Manshouri T, Lara B, Kadia TM, DiNardo C, Takahashi K, Daver N, Bose P, Masarova L, Pemmaraju N, Kornblau S, Borthakur G, Montalban-Bravo G, Manero GG, Sharma S, Stubbs M, Su X, Green MR, Coarfa C, Verstovsek S, Khoury JD, Vakoc CR, Bhalla KN. Superior efficacy of co-targeting GFI1/KDM1A and BRD4 against AML and post-MPN secondary AML cells. Blood Cancer J 11(5):98, 2021. e-Pub 2021. PMID: 34016956.
- Alotaibi AS, Yilmaz M, Kanagal-Shamanna R, Loghavi S, Kadia TM, DiNardo CD, Borthakur G, Konopleva M, Pierce SA, Wang SA, Tang G, Guerra V, Samra B, Pemmaraju N, Jabbour E, Short NJ, Issa GC, Ohanian M, Garcia-Manero G, Bhalla KN, Patel KP, Takahashi K, Andreeff M, Cortes JE, Kantarjian HM, Ravandi F, Daver N. Patterns of Resistance Differ in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treated with Type I versus Type II FLT3 inhibitors. Blood Cancer Discov 2(2):125-134, 2021. e-Pub 2020. PMID: 33681815.
- Birdwell C, Fiskus W, Kadia TM, DiNardo CD, Mill CP, Bhalla KN. EVI1 dysregulation: impact on biology and therapy of myeloid malignancies. Blood Cancer J 11(3):64, 2021. e-Pub 2021. PMID: 33753715.
- Lachowiez C, Bannon S, Loghavi S, Wang F, Kanagal-Shamanna R, Mehta R, Daver N, Borthakur G, Pemmaraju N, Ravandi F, Patel KP, Garcia-Manero G, Takahashi K, Kantarjian H, Bhalla K, DiNardo CD. Clonal evolution and treatment outcomes in hematopoietic neoplasms arising in patients with germline RUNX1 mutations. Am J Hematol 95(11):E313-E315, 2020. e-Pub 2020. PMID: 32804409.
- Morita K, Wang F, Jahn K, Hu T, Tanaka T, Sasaki Y, Kuipers J, Loghavi S, Wang SA, Yan Y, Furudate K, Matthews J, Little L, Gumbs C, Zhang J, Song X, Thompson E, Patel KP, Bueso-Ramos CE, DiNardo CD, Ravandi F, Jabbour E, Andreeff M, Cortes J, Bhalla K, Garcia-Manero G, Kantarjian H, Konopleva M, Nakada D, Navin N, Beerenwinkel N, Futreal PA, Takahashi K. Clonal evolution of acute myeloid leukemia revealed by high-throughput single-cell genomics. Nat Commun 11(1):5327, 2020. e-Pub 2020. PMID: 33087716.
- Saenz DT, Fiskus W, Mill CP, Perera D, Manshouri T, Lara BH, Karkhanis V, Sharma S, Horrigan SK, Bose P, Kadia TM, Masarova L, DiNardo CD, Borthakur G, Khoury JD, Takahashi K, Bhaskara S, Lin CY, Green MR, Coarfa C, Crews CM, Verstovsek S, Bhalla KN. Mechanistic basis and efficacy of targeting the β-catenin-TCF7L2-JMJD6-c-Myc axis to overcome resistance to BET inhibitors. Blood 135(15):1255-1269, 2020. PMID: 32068780.
- Abou Dalle I, Kantarjian H, Bannon SA, Kanagal-Shamanna R, Routbort M, Patel KP, Hu S, Bhalla K, Garcia-Manero G, DiNardo CD. Successful lenalidomide treatment in high risk myelodysplastic syndrome with germline DDX41 mutation. Am J Hematol 95(2):227-229, 2020. e-Pub 2019. PMID: 31400013.
- Kim E, Ten Hacken E, Sivina M, Clarke A, Thompson PA, Jain N, Ferrajoli A, Estrov Z, Keating MJ, Wierda WG, Bhalla KN, Burger JA. The BET inhibitor GS-5829 targets chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells and their supportive microenvironment. Leukemia 34:1588-1598, 2020. PMID: 31862959.
- Mill CP, Fiskus W, DiNardo CD, Qian Y, Raina K, Rajapakshe K, Perera D, Coarfa C, Kadia TM, Khoury JD, Saenz DT, Saenz DN, Illendula A, Takahashi K, Kornblau SM, Green MR, Futreal AP, Bushweller JH, Crews CM, Bhalla KN. RUNX1-targeted therapy for AML expressing somatic or germline mutation in RUNX1. Blood 134(1):59-73, 2019. e-Pub 2019. PMID: 31023702.
- Saenz DT, Fiskus W, Manshouri T, Mill CP, Qian Y, Raina K, Rajapakshe K, Coarfa C, Soldi R, Bose P, Borthakur G, Kadia TM, Khoury JD, Masarova L, Nowak AJ, Sun B, Saenz DN, Kornblau SM, Horrigan S, Sharma S, Qiu P, Crews CM, Verstovsek S, Bhalla KN. Targeting nuclear β-catenin as therapy for post-myeloproliferative neoplasm secondary AML. Leukemia 33(6):1373-1386, 2019. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 30575820.
- Short NJ, Jabbour E, Naqvi K, Patel A, Ning J, Sasaki K, Nogueras-Gonzalez GM, Bose P, Kornblau SM, Takahashi K, Andreeff M, Sanchez-Petitto G, Estrov Z, Dinardo CD, Montalban-Bravo G, Konopleva M, Alvarado Y, Bhalla KN, Fiskus W, Khouri M, Islam R, Kantarjian H, Garcia-Manero G. A phase II study of omacetaxine mepesuccinate for patients with higher-risk myelodysplastic syndrome and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia after failure of hypomethylating agents. Am J Hematol 94(1):74-79, 2019. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 30328139.
- Fiskus W, Cai T, DiNardo CD, Kornblau SM, Borthakur G, Kadia TM, Pemmaraju N, Bose P, Masarova L, Rajapakshe K, Perera D, Coarfa C, Mill CP, Saenz DT, Saenz DN, Sun B, Khoury JD, Shen Y, Konopleva M, Bhalla KN. Superior efficacy of cotreatment with BET protein inhibitor and BCL2 or MCL1 inhibitor against AML blast progenitor cells. Blood Cancer J 9(2):4, 2019. e-Pub 2019. PMID: 30647404.
- Masarova L, Verstovsek S, Hidalgo-Lopez JE, Pemmaraju N, Bose P, Estrov Z, Jabbour EJ, Ravandi-Kashani F, Takahashi K, Cortes JE, Ning J, Ohanian M, Alvarado Y, Zhou L, Pierce S, Gergis R, Patel KP, Luthra R, Kadia TM, DiNardo CD, Borthakur G, Bhalla K, Garcia-Manero G, Bueso-Ramos CE, Kantarjian HM, Daver N. A phase 2 study of ruxolitinib in combination with azacitidine in patients with myelofibrosis. Blood 132(16):1664-1674, 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 30185431.
- DiNardo AR, Nishiguchi T, Mace EM, Rajapakshe K, Mtetwa G, Kay A, Maphalala G, Secor WE, Mejia R, Orange JS, Coarfa C, Bhalla KN, Graviss EA, Mandalakas AM, Makedonas G. Schistosomiasis Induces Persistent DNA Methylation and Tuberculosis-Specific Immune Changes. J Immunol 201(1):124-133, 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 29752313.
- DiNardo CD, Rausch CR, Benton C, Kadia T, Jain N, Pemmaraju N, Daver N, Covert W, Marx KR, Mace M, Jabbour E, Cortes J, Garcia-Manero G, Ravandi F, Bhalla KN, Kantarjian H, Konopleva M. Clinical experience with the BCL2-inhibitor venetoclax in combination therapy for relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia and related myeloid malignancies. Am J Hematol 93(3):401-407, 2018. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 29218851.
- Sun B, Fiskus W, Qian Y, Rajapakshe K, Raina K, Coleman KG, Crew AP, Shen A, Saenz DT, Mill CP, Nowak AJ, Jain N, Zhang L, Wang M, Khoury JD, Coarfa C, Crews CM, Bhalla KN. BET protein proteolysis targeting chimera (PROTAC) exerts potent lethal activity against mantle cell lymphoma cells. Leukemia 32(2):343-352, 2018. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28663582.
- Tharkar-Promod S, Johnson DP, Bennett SE, Dennis EM, Banowsky BG, Jones SS, Shearstone JR, Quayle SN, Min C, Jarpe M, Mosbruger T, Pomicter AD, Miles RR, Chen WY, Bhalla KN, Zweidler-McKay PA, Shrieve DC, Deininger MW, Chandrasekharan MB, Bhaskara S. HDAC1,2 inhibition and doxorubicin impair Mre11-dependent DNA repair and DISC to override BCR-ABL1-driven DSB repair in Philadelphia chromosome-positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia 32(1):49-60, 2018. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28579617.
- Saenz DT, Fiskus W, Qian Y, Manshouri T, Rajapakshe K, Raina K, Coleman KG, Crew AP, Shen A, Mill CP, Sun B, Qiu P, Kadia TM, Pemmaraju N, DiNardo C, Kim MS, Nowak AJ, Coarfa C, Crews CM, Verstovsek S, Bhalla KN. Novel BET protein Proteolysis Targeting Chimera (BET-PROTAC) exerts superior lethal activity than Bromodomain Inhibitor (BETi) against post-myeloproliferative Neoplasm (MPN) Secondary (s) AML Cells. Leukemia 31(9):1951-1961, 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28042144.
- Boddu PC, Kantarjian HM, Ravandi F, Garcia-Manero G, Verstovsek S, Jabbour EJ, Takahashi K, Bhalla K, Konopleva M, DiNardo CD, Ohanian M, Pemmaraju N, Jain N, Pierce S, Wierda WG, Cortes JE, Kadia TM. Characteristics and outcomes of older patients with secondary acute myeloid leukemia according to treatment approach. Cancer 123(16):3050-3060, 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28387922.
- Fiskus W, Sharma S, Shah B, Portier BP, Devaraj SGT, Liu K, Iyer SP, Bearss D, Bhalla KN. Highly effective combination of LSD1 (KDM1A) antagonist and pan-histone deacetylase inhibitor against human AML cells. Leukemia 31(7):1658, 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28322226.
- Boddu P, Kantarjian HM, Garcia-Manero G, Ravandi F, Verstovsek S, Jabbour E, Borthakur G, Konopleva M, Bhalla KN, Daver N, DiNardo CD, Benton CB, Takahashi K, Estrov Z, Pierce SR, Andreeff M, Cortes JE, Kadia TM. Treated secondary acute myeloid leukemia: a distinct high-risk subset of AML with adverse prognosis. Blood Adv 1(17):1312-1323, 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 29296774.
- Khan M, Cortes J, Kadia T, Naqvi K, Brandt M, Pierce S, Patel KP, Borthakur G, Ravandi F, Konopleva M, Kornblau S, Kantarjian H, Bhalla K, DiNardo CD. Clinical Outcomes and Co-Occurring Mutations in Patients with RUNX1-Mutated Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Int J Mol Sci 18(8), 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28933735.
- Saenz DT, Fiskus W, Manshouri T, Rajapakshe K, Krieger S, Sun B, Mill CP, DiNardo C, Pemmaraju N, Kadia T, Parmar S, Sharma S, Coarfa C, Qiu P, Verstovsek S, Bhalla KN. BET protein bromodomain inhibitor-based combinations are highly active against postmyeloproliferative neoplasm secondary AML cells. Leukemia 31(3):678-687, 2017. e-Pub 2016. PMID: 27677740.
- Cortes J, Talpaz M, Smith HP, Snyder DS, Khoury J, Bhalla KN, Pinilla-Ibarz J, Larson R, Mitchell D, Wise SC, Rutkoski TJ, Smith BD, Flynn DL, Kantarjian HM, Rosen O, Van Etten RA. Phase 1 dose-finding study of rebastinib (DCC-2036) in patients with relapsed chronic myeloid leukemia and acute myeloid leukemia. Haematologica 102(3):519-528, 2017. e-Pub 2016. PMID: 27927766.
- Fiskus W, Coothankandaswamy V, Chen J, Ma H, Ha K, Saenz DT, Krieger SS, Mill CP, Sun B, Huang P, Mumm JS, Melnick AM, Bhalla KN. SIRT2 deacetylates and inhibits the peroxidase activity of peroxiredoxin-1 to sensitize breast cancer cells to oxidant stress inducing agents. Cancer Res 76(18):5467-78, 2016. e-Pub 2016. PMID: 27503926.
- DiNardo CD, Bannon SA, Routbort M, Franklin A, Mork M, Armanios M, Mace EM, Orange JS, Jeff-Eke M, Churpek JE, Takahashi K, Jorgensen JL, Garcia-Manero G, Kornblau S, Bertuch A, Cheung H, Bhalla K, Futreal A, Godley LA, Patel KP. Evaluation of Patients and Families With Concern for Predispositions to Hematologic Malignancies Within the Hereditary Hematologic Malignancy Clinic (HHMC). Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk 16(7):417-428.e2, 2016. e-Pub 2016. PMID: 27210295.
- Bhalla KN, Fiskus W. NEDD8 and HDACs: promising cotargets in AML. Blood 127(18):2168-70, 2016. PMID: 27151736.
- Sun B, Shah B, Fiskus W, Qi J, Rajapakshe K, Coarfa C, Li L, Devaraj SG, Sharma S, Zhang L, Wang ML, Saenz DT, Krieger S, Bradner JE, Bhalla KN. Synergistic activity of BET protein antagonist-based combinations in mantle cell lymphoma cells sensitive or resistant to ibrutinib. Blood 126(13):1565-74, 2015. e-Pub 2015. PMID: 26254443.
- Soldi R, Horrigan SK, Cholody MW, Padia J, Sorna V, Bearss J, Gilcrease G, Bhalla K, Verma A, Vankayalapati H, Sharma S. Design, Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of a Series of anthracene-9, 10-dione dioxime ß-catenin Pathway Inhibitors. J Med Chem 58(15):5854-62, 2015. e-Pub 2015. PMID: 26182238.
- Fiskus W, Sharma S, Saha S, Shah B, Devaraj SG, Sun B, Horrigan S, Leveque C, Zu Y, Iyer S, Bhalla KN. Pre-clinical efficacy of combined therapy with novel β-catenin antagonist BC2059 and histone deacetylase inhibitor against AML cells. Leukemia 29(6):1267-78, 2015. e-Pub 2014. PMID: 25482131.
- Devaraj SG, Fiskus W, Shah B, Qi J, Sun B, Iyer SP, Sharma S, Bradner JE, Bhalla KN. HEXIM1 induction is mechanistically involved in mediating anti-AML activity of BET protein bromodomain antagonist. Leukemia. e-Pub 2015. PMID: 26148704.
- Soldi R, Hlader TF, Sampson S, Vankayalapati H, Weston A, Thode T, Bhalla KN, Ng S, del Villar RR, Drenner K,Kaadige MR, Horrigan SK, Sharma S.. The small molecule BC-2059 inhibits Wnt-dependent gene transcription in cancer through disruption of the Transducin Beta-Like 1 (TBL1)-β-catenin protein complex. Mol Cancer Ther.
- Benton CB, Fiskus W, Bhalla KN.. Targeting Histone Acetylation: Readers and Writers in Leukemia and Cancer. The Cancer Journal 23(5):286-291, 2017. PMID: 28926429.
- Verstovsek S, Fiskus W, Manshouri T, Bhalla KN. Targeting cistrome and dysregulated transcriptome of post-MPN sAML. Oncotarget 8(55):93301-93302, 2017. PMID: 29212143.
|Title:||BET protein antagonist-based targeted therapy of Mantle Cell Lymphoma|
|Title:||Identifying/Targeting Mechanisms of Lymphomagenesis Driven by CREBBP Inactivation|
|Title:||Biology and novel therapy of AML expressing somatic or germline mutant RUNX1|
|Title:||Targeting Dysregulated transcriptome as therapy for post=myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) sAML|
|Title:||Functional characterization and rational therapeutic targeting of 18q DNA copy number gains in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma|
|Title:||Persistent DNA hyper-methylation of the IFN-γ signaling pathway during tuberculosis|
|Title:||Novel combination therapy for AML expressing mutant RUNX1|