Pranab K. Mukherjee, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Dermatology. Dr. Mukherjee completed his Ph.D. training in 1998 with Prof. Rajendra Prasad in the School of Life Sciences, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, a premier institution in India. During his Ph.D., Dr. Mukherjee purified and characterized the membrane-localized arginine transporter from the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans, a major fungal pathogen. After joining the Department of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in 1998, he continued his research with Prof. Mahmoud Ghannoum on protein biochemistry of C. albicans. His research efforts were supported by the Janssen Pharmaceutical-Dermatology Foundation Research Fellowship, and led to elucidation of the role of Candida phospholipase in the pathogenesis of candidiasis.
Subsequently, Dr. Mukherjee focused his attention on the study of catheter-associated fungal biofilms, an emerging area in infectious diseases. In collaboration with other members of the Center for Medical Mycology, he performed studies that defined the development phases, architecture, and drug resistance pattern of fungal biofilms. This work, which resulted in several publications, laid the groundwork for Dr. Mukherjee to perform systems biology research on fungal biofilms, including microarray/transcriptomics, proteomics, and lipidomics, with the overall objective of identifying mechanisms and functional roles of genes and proteins associated with fungal biofilms. His research on proteomic analysis of microbial biofilms was translated into an anti-biofilm product that is currently undergoing Phase III clinical testing. He is also intimately involved in research on oral complications of immunocompromised patients including cancer and HIV, and was a member of the NIH/NIDCR-funded Oral HIV-AIDS Research Alliance (OHARA). More recently, Dr. Mukherjee has expanded his research efforts to focus on the study of human microbiome (bacteriome and mycobiome) in health and disease (including HIV-infection, corneal infections, inflammatory bowel disease, eczema and psoriasis). This work has resulted in publications in high impact journals and attracted enthusiastic support from the research community. Over the years, his research has been supported by funding from the NIAID, NIDCR, the Skin Diseases Research Center, and the American Heart Association.
Dr. Mukherjee is an invited Advisor at the Subcommittee for Antifungal Susceptibility Testing, Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI), acts as invited reviewer for several journals. He routinely interacts with pharmaceutical companies and provides assistance in their antifungal drug development programs at various stages.
Dr. Mukherjee enjoys his interactions with students, residents, and colleagues at the Department and University level. He is involved in teaching medical students in the School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine, and mentors students/residents in their research projects.