School of Medicine
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Instructor, Pediatrics - Adolescent Medicine
BioShivani applies both quantitative and qualitative experimental and implementation research to develop and evaluate public health programs, that may ultimately contribute to healthy behaviors among adolescents. Her current research focuses on three key areas:
(1) Assessing youth patterns of use and perceptions about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or vapes) and other substances;
(2) Understanding why youth use e-cigarettes - the impact of marketing influences and using e-cigarettes to cope with stress; and
(3) Evaluating school-based educational interventions to reduce e-cigarette use.
In addition to research, Shivani enjoys teaching research methods and mentoring high school and college students.
Through her Ph.D., Shivani developed and evaluated an arts-based educational program to reduce mental-health-related stigma in India. The program had a large, significant and positive effect on participants - they desired greater social proximity to people living with mental health problems. During this time, she also became interested in the intersection between mental health and substance use, a common theme in her interactions with youth. She also refined her skills in statistical analysis, study design and project management. Her interdisciplinary Ph.D. research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine was supported by the PHFI-UKC Wellcome Trust Capacity Strengthening Award (2014-18). In 2017, she received the LSHTM Public Engagement Small Grant to strengthen school teachers’ understanding of mental health problems, which resulted in a monthly column in a popular educational magazine, reaching approximately 40,000 Indian teachers every month.
Previously, Shivani designed, implemented and evaluated health communication and behavior change initiatives at the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) from 2008-2014. She is especially passionate about designing educational public health programs to break silences around contentious public health issues, using participatory media and entertainment-education. At PHFI, she spearheaded health communication and community engagement programs aimed at changing behavior related to healthy lifestyles, sexual and reproductive health, maternal and neonatal care, menstrual hygiene, avoidable blindness and mental health. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and community-based organizations, she led three educational interventions: a community awareness campaign, which improved treatment-seeking behavior for mental disorders in underserved areas; a website targeting young people to improve their lifestyle; and entertainment-education-based participatory action research to improve sexual and reproductive health.
Clinical Professor, Pediatrics - Infectious Diseases
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe focus of my laboratory is the immune response to viral vaccines evaluating the ontogeny of responses in infants and limitations in immunocompromised hosts. We have studied responses to an early two-dose measles immunization, one versus 2 doses of varicella immunization, and polio vaccine in preterm versus term infants. Other active areas of research include measles and varicella immunity in HIV infected individuals, and transplant recipients.
Associate Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine (Adult-MSD) and, by courtesy, of Pediatrics (Neonatology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe advent of high dimensional flow cytometry has revolutionized our ability to study and visualize the human immune system. Our group combines high parameter mass cytometry (a.k.a Cytometry by Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry, CyTOF), with advanced bio-computational methods to study how the human immune system responds and adapts to acute physiological perturbations. The laboratory currently focuses on two clinical scenarios: surgical trauma and pregnancy.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology)
BioOur lab works at the interface of biotechnology, computational biology, cellular biology, and clinical medicine to develop and apply new tools for characterizing genetic variation across single cells within a tissue with unparalleled sensitivity and accuracy. We are focused on applying these technologies to study cancer clonal evolution while patients are undergoing treatment with the aim of identifying cancer clonotypes that are associated with resistance to specific drugs so as to better understand and predict treatment response. We are also applying these methods to understand how more virulent pathogens emerge from a population of bacteria or viruses with an emphasis on developing a deeper understanding of how antibiotic resistance develops.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pediatrics - Immunology and Allergy
BioMy clinic focuses on solving the molecular puzzles that underlie rare allergic and immunologic diseases to shed light on fundamental principles governing allergy, inflammation and immune system defects. My goal is to find better and safer therapies for my patients with rare diseases that include autoinflammation, autoimmunity and primary immune deficiency. It is important to highlight that every patient requires individualized therapeutic approaches based on their underlying genetic problem and the types and severity of their clinical manifestations. For some patients, a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) is curative while for others, a targeted drug therapy, such as a biologic or small molecule agent, is most suitable. In some cases, a truly novel therapy may be required, .e.g., anti-sense oligonucleotide therapy to suppress aberrant gene splicing or adoptive cellular therapy. My passion is to provide the best personalized therapy for our patients with allergy and immunology diseases. This often requires performing very specialized functional assays and in some cases in enlisting laboratories with specific expertise or interest in particular genetic disorders.