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Dr. Gaurav Chopra

Dr. Gaurav Chopra

The theme of my laboratory is Chemical Immunology. We are interested in understanding and chemically perturbing immune microenvironments in disease (cancer and neurodegeneration). We use immunological, synthetic, and proteome-scale methods to discover, design, synthesize and verify immunomodulatory chemical entities that are specific to immune cell subtypes (e.g. MDSCs, microglia, astrocytes, etc ). We have developed a novel interactome based drug discovery and design platform that analyze compound-proteome interaction signatures at the genomic (proteomic) scale to determine drug behavior, in contrast to traditional single target approaches. We use machine learning and computational modeling to develop ‘computational assays’ to complement and guide chemical synthesis and biological experiments done in our laboratory and identify targets/networks to design drugs/combinations for specific cellular phenotypes ex vivo and in vivo . My group and our collaborators have used this approach to identify putative drug leads (new synthetic leads, combination of existing drugs) using in vitro and in vivo preclinical studies for more than 10 different diseases including cancer, immunological, metabolic, infectious and genetic indications (castration resistant prostate, invasive bladder cancer, neurodegeneration, type 1 diabetes, dental caries, dengue, herpes, drug resistant tuberculosis, etc ). The two research themes of my lab in “data-driven chemical methodology” and “cell-specific chemical immunomodulation” will help us achieve our goal to develop modulators (small molecules, cell conjugates, etc ) that may be used therapeutically, as well as, “probes” to perturb immune microenvironments to explore cell-responsive pathways in different diseases.

Students in our lab choose their research track based on their interest ( ). We enjoy working with passionate individuals who care deeply about their research ranging from computations to chemical biology to doing animal work. Our lab culture encourages creativity and persistence to solve problems. Students in our lab will have the opportunity to identify problems they are most interested in solving. Our goal is to train students into well-rounded scientists. In summary, we are looking for smart, talented and passionate individuals so that we can learn from them as much as they learn from us.


  • B.Tech., Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, India, 2002
  • M.S., University of California, Irvine, 2003
  • Ph.D., Stanford University School of Engineering (Mentor: Michael Levitt), 2010
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Stanford University School of Medicine, 2013
  • JDRF Fellow, University of California, San Francisco (Mentor: Jeffrey A. Bluestone), 2016


  • Cancer Research Award, 2017
  • Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Research Trust Award, 2017
  • Instructional Innovation Award, 2016
  • Fellowship Award, 2014


List of publications