Rabi Upadhyay, MD

2019 Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist

Training Award Recipient

Hematology-Oncology Fellow

MD, University of Massachusetts, 2014

My academic path started in mathematics and biomedical engineering.  My initial research work involved building fiber optic and intra-operative fluorescence imaging systems, to locate and quantify microscopic/occult tumors in mice, to achieve earlier diagnosis and treatment planning. Subsequently, I helped transition this basic science work into commercial biotechnology products, and there are now multiple clinical trials in patients that are validating its efficacy (Lumicell, Inc).

This initial fulfillment in benefiting patients eventually lead me to medical school, followed by an Internal Medicine residency at NYU. Ultimately, I came full circle in choosing a specific field, and I am now completing my Oncology clinical fellowship.  It is a privilege to currently care for patients with a wide variety of cancers, but I see my training eventually sub-specializing in lung cancer (thoracic oncology).

In the Littman Lab, I am interested in how gastrointestinal commensal microbiota contribute to the adaptive immune repertoire. The lab has already demonstrated tremendous modulation of gut-distal auto-immune pathology by this mechanism (via induction of Th17 and Treg cells). I am fascinated by the possibility to harness these same T cell responses to modulate gut-distal cancers and their therapy, including immune checkpoint blockade.

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1. Morton AM, Sefik E, Upadhyay R, Weissleder R, Benoist C, Mathis D. Endoscopic photoconversion reveals unexpectedly broad leukocyte trafficking to and from the gut. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2014 May 6; 111(18): 6696-701.

2. Keliher EJ, Reiner T, Thurber GM, Upadhyay R, Weissleder R. Efficient 18F-labeling of synthetic exendin-4 analogues for imaging beta cells. ChemistryOpen. 2012 Aug; 1(4):177-183.

3. Reiner T, Thurber G, Gaglia J, Vinegoni C, Liew CW, Upadhyay R, Kohler RH, Li L, Kulkarni RN, Benoist C, Mathis D, Weissleder R. Accurate measurement of pancreatic islet beta-cell mass using a second-generation fluorescent exendin-4 analog. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2011 Aug 2; 108 (31): 12815-20.

4. Parekkadan B, Upadhyay R, Dunham J, Iwamoto Y, Mizoguchi E, Mizoguchi A, Weissleder R, Yarmush ML. Bone Marrow Stromal Cell Transplants Prevent Experimental Enterocolitis and Require Host CD11b(+) Splenocytes. Gastroenterology. 2011 Mar; 140(2):966-75.

5. Devaraj NK, Hilderbrand S, Upadhyay R, Mazitschek R, Weissleder R. Bioorthogonal Turn-On Probes for Imaging Small Molecules inside Living Cells. Angewandte Chemie 2010 Apr 6; 49(16):2869-72.

6. Wadlow RC, Wittner BS, Finley SA, Bergquist H, Upadhyay R, Finn S, Loda M, Mahmood U, Ramaswamy S. Systems-level modeling of cancer-fibroblast interaction. PLoS One. 2009 Sep 3; 4(9):e6888.

7. Devaraj NK, Upadhyay R, Haun JB, Hilderbrand SA, Weissleder R. Fast and sensitive pretargeted labeling of cancer cells through a tetrazine/trans-cyclooctene cycloaddition. Angewandte Chemie. 2009; 48(38):7013-6.

8. Upadhyay R, Mahmood U. Chapter 10: Fiber Optic Fluorescence Imaging. Molecular Imaging: Principles and Practice Ed. Ralph Weissleder. Hamilton, Ontario: Pmph, 2009. p147-159.

9. Sheth RA, Upadhyay R, Stangenberg L, Sheth R, Weissleder R, Mahmood U. Improved Detection of Ovarian Cancer Metastases by Intraoperative Quantitative Fluorescent Protease Imaging in a Pre-Clinical Model. Gynecologic Oncology 2009 Mar; 112(3):616-22.

10. Cortez-Retamozo V, Swirski FK, Waterman P, Yuan H, Figueiredo JF, Newton AP, Upadhyay R, Vinegoni C, Kohler R, Blois J, Smith A, Nahrendorf M, Josephson L, Weissleder R, Pittet MJ. Real-time assessment of inflammation and treatment response in allergic airway inflammation. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2008 Dec; 118(12):4058-66.

11. Engelman JA, Chen L, McNamara K, Upadhyay R, Crosby K, Maira M, Perera SA, Guimaraes A, Chirieac LR, Kaur R, Lightbown A, Simendinger J, Li T, Padera RF, Garcia-Echeverria C, Weissleder R, Mahmood U, Cantley L, Wong KK. Differential Efficacy of PI3K inhibition in PI3KCA and K-Ras driver murine lung cancers. Nature Medicine. 2008 Dec; 14(12):1351-6.

12. Mahmood U, Upadhyay R. Current and Future Imaging Paradigms in Colorectal Cancer. Seminars in Colon and Rectal Surgery 2007 Jun; 18(2):132-138.

13. Upadhyay R, Sheth RA, Weissleder R, Mahmood U. Quantitative Real-time Catheter-based Fluorescence Molecular Imaging in Mice. Radiology. 2007 Nov; 245(2):523-531.

14. Deramaudt TB, Takaoka M, Upadhyay R, Bowser MJ, Porter J, Lee A, Rhoades B, Johnstone CN, Weissleder R, Hingorani SR, Mahmood U, Rustgi AK. N-Cadherin and Keratinocyte Growth Factor Receptor Mediate the Functional Interplay between Ki-RASG12V and p53V 143A in Promoting Pancreatic Cell Migration, Invasion, and Tissue Architecture Disruption. Molecular & Cellular Biology. 2006 Jun; 26(11):4185-200.