Professional headshot of Meenakshi Upreti, PhD

Meenakshi Upreti, PhD

Senior Scientist, Division of Neurosurgery
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Meenakshi Upreti, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in the Division of Neurosurgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Dr. Upreti received her PhD in Molecular Oncology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. Her dissertation earned her an invitation to present her work at the 2003 Eukaryotic Gene Expression meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

As a part of her American Cancer Society fellowship, she investigated the impact of chemotherapeutic drugs on the molecular mechanism of apoptotic cell death in cancer cells. Before joining CHLA, she served as faculty in the College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky, and member of the Markey Cancer Center. In research supported by the National Cancer Institute, she developed 3D tumor tissue analogs that incorporate tumor, stromal and structural characteristics to evaluate a novel radiation-guided receptor-targeting strategy for cancer.

In her research, Dr. Upreti uses 3D tumor tissue analogs as representative oncology models, as well as candidate therapeutics in early clinical development for treatment of highly aggressive pediatric brain tumors. Her multidisciplinary collaborations at CHLA address unmet challenges in these lethal, hard-to-treat childhood brain malignancies. These initiatives have been a critical pillar in the success of her research projects, garnering acknowledgement from federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Defense (Concept Award), and the Children’s Cancer Research Fund and Alternatives Research & Development Foundation.


Graduate School

MPhil/PhD, Molecular Oncology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, Arkansas


Professional Memberships

Society for Neuro-Oncology
Editorial Board, Nature Scientific Reports
European Radiation Research Society
International Cancer Microenvironment Society
American Association for Cancer Research
Radiation Research Society


An Organ-Specific In Vitro 3D Platform for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, Rare Cancer Research Program, DOD, Concept Award, Principal Investigator, 2022-2024

Alternatives in Research Development Foundation, 3D In-Vitro Platform Integrating the Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma Microenvironment, Principal Investigator, 2022-2024

Therapeutic Enhancement of Radiation with Nanoparticles in DIPG
Children's Cancer Research Fund; Accelerating Impact for Hard-to-Treat Cancers Award, Co-Principal Investigator, 2022-2024

Generating Patient-derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Developing a Brain Organoid Model for DIPG, The Saban Research Institute, CHLA, Principal Investigator, 2023-2024

4th Annual NASA Spaceflight Technology, Applications & Research (STAR) Program, 2023-24

Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society, Early Career Investigator Travel Award, Cancun, Mexico, 2017

American Cancer Society in the Mid-South Region of United States, 1st Postdoctoral Fellowship Awardee, 2010

American Cancer Society, Little Rock Arkansas, Faces of Cancer Honoree (6:20-7:05 min), 2010


Chiarelli PA, Revia RA, Stephen ZR, Wang K, Kievit FM, Sandhu J, Upreti M, Chung S, Ellenbogen RG, and Zhang M. [2023] Iron oxide nanoparticle-mediated radiation delivery for glioblastoma treatment. Materials Today. Volume 56, June 2022, Page 66–78

Upreti M*. [2018] Chapter 11: Impact of Tumor microenvironment in Radioresistance of Cancer Stem Cells. Cancer Stem Cells (Book), Methods in Molecular Biology

Stocke NA, Sethi P, Jyoti A, Chan R, Arnold SM, Hilt JZ, Upreti M. Toxicity evaluation of magnetic hyperthermia induced by remote actuation of magnetic nanoparticles in 3D micrometastasic tumor tissue analogs for triple negative breast cancer. Biomaterials. 2017 Mar;120:115-125. PMID: 28056401.

Sethi P, Jyoti A, Swindell EP, Chan R, Langner UW, Feddock JM, Nagarajan R, O'Halloran TV, Upreti M. 3D tumor tissue analogs and their orthotopic implants for understanding tumor-targeting of microenvironment-responsive nanosized chemotherapy and radiation. Nanomedicine. 2015 Nov;11(8):2013-23. PMID: 26282381.

Upreti M, Jyoti A, Sethi P. Tumor microenvironment and nanotherapeutics. Transl Cancer Res. 2013 Aug 1;2(4):309-319. PMID: 24634853. [2015 Top 10 TCR cited articles]


The goal of Dr. Upreti’s research is to transform scientific approaches and techniques developed at the bench into clinical applications to reduce cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality in children. She pursues basic and translational research in the following related areas:

  1. Preclinical cancer therapeutics and impact of tumor microenvironment
  2. Developing representative 3D in-vitro preclinical tumor models
  3. Investigating combinatorial/multimodal approaches to improve therapy response and delivery