Dr. Kshitiz received his B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay and was introduced to the fascinating world of biology during a research fellowship at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in Bioinformatics, and the Division of Biological Sciences at IIT Bombay.
Kshitiz received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine under the supervision of Dr. Andre Levchenko along with Dr. Gregg Semenza and Dr. Roselle Abraham. During his Ph.D., Kshitiz discovered signaling mechanisms that translate extracellular mechanical cues to guide differentiation of cardiovascular progenitors, regulating a variety of cellular phenotypes by regulation of a single molecule, p190RhoGAP. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Gregg Semenza, Kshitiz also worked extensively on HIF signaling, investigating cellular response to hypoxia.
Subsequent to his dissertation, Kshitiz served as an interim acting Chief Scientific Officer of Cardiac Mimetics, Inc., a startup company at the Center for Commercialization at the University of Washington, Seattle. He developed various methods to mature pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes to mimic their biology to human adult cardiac tissue for drug and toxicity screens. After his stint at UW, Kshitiz joined Yale as an Associate Research Scientist at the Institute of Systems Biology where he developed methods to fundamentally understand cell-cell communication. His work involved finding a novel phenomenon of quorum sensing in cancer populations with Dr. Andre Levchenko and Dr. Chi V. Dang (Director, Ludwig Institute). In addition, with Dr. Gunter Wagner, Kshitiz has discovered the evolutionary basis of why human stroma is permissive to cancer invasion, implicating that human vulnerability to cancer may be an evolutionary compromise to allow invasive placentation during pregnancy.
Dr. Kshitiz’s laboratory focuses on mechanistically understanding intercellular communication in various physiological contexts, with a particular focus on cell-cell interactions within the tumor microenvironment.