Tuesday, April 9, 2019
  Research, Announcements

By Jennifer Berghom

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas School of Medicine recently welcomed its new cancer immunology team with a signing ceremony at the UTRGV/UT Health RGV Biomedical Research Building.

The team is led by Dr. Subhash C. Chauhan, Ph.D., who will be the founding director of the South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research and chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the UTRGV School of Medicine.

Chauhan comes to UTRGV from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, where he served as a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy and Cancer Research Center.

He is an accomplished researcher with 24 years of experience in cancer immunology research, and has garnered several high-award grants from the National Institutes of Health. He also has had numerous papers published in scientific journals and is often cited in papers by other researchers.

“Dr. Chauhan has done extensive research related to cancer, including research into pancreatic cancer treatment, and the association between human papilloma virus infection and certain cancers among American Indian men and women. With the cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates among women in the Rio Grande Valley being two to three times higher than the rest of the state, having Dr. Chauhan come to the Rio Grande Valley to lead this new institute is extremely important to our community and has the potential to transform healthcare here and save lives,” said Dr. John H. Krouse, executive vice president for Health Affairs and dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine.

Chauhan earned his Ph.D. from Central Drug Research Institute in Lucknow, India. He is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Association for Advancement of Science, the Perinatal Research Society, and the South Dakota Academy of Science.

In this new leadership role, Chauhan will bring a team of five cancer biology investigators to help develop the first nationally recognized center of excellence for cancer immunology in South Texas. The team members joining him are Dr. Meena Jaggi, Dr. Bilal Hafeez, Dr. Sheema Khan, Dr. Manish Tripathi, and Dr. Murali Yallapu.

“This is an exciting time for the growth of the Valley region, as new research infrastructure is going to evolve in the area,” Chauhan said. “Our research team is excited to be the part of this growth. Our team will bring unique strengths that are required to address heath issues of the local communities and the southernmost part of Texas.”

Chauhan said new research infrastructure will provide unique opportunities to local students who want to pursue their career in science and education, and that the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and South Texas Center of Excellence in Cancer Research will provide a state-of-the art research facility in the Valley.

Researchers at this multidisciplinary center will use their expertise in cell and molecular biology, immunology, nanoparticle technology and mouse model systems to examine the development, detection and treatment of human cancers. 

Chauhan and his team will assume their positions at UTRGV by this summer. 


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.