Scientific Review Branch (SRB)
Varsha Shukla, Ph.D.
Scientific Review Officer
P.O. Box 12233Mail Drop K3-05Durham, N.C. 27709
Varsha Shukla, Ph.D. is a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) in the Division of Extramural Research and Training at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), where she helps with conducting the initial administrative, scientific, and technical review of research grant applications assigned to the NIEHS before forwarding them to review committees or special emphasis panels for detailed scientific peer review. She is also responsible for preparing summary statements of review committee evaluations and recommendations.
Dr. Shukla received her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from Bilaspur University, India and her Ph.D. in neurobiology from Frankfurt University, Germany. Her graduate research focus was on neural stem cells and adult neurogenesis in rodent brain. Dr. Shukla completed her postdoctoral studies at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) in the laboratory of Dr. Harish Pant, where she studied the role of Cdk5 (a kinase) in neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, ALS and aging). During this study, she published several peer-reviewed articles and secured a NIH patent for a peptide displaying rescue affects in Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. After a productive postdoctoral fellowship experience, Dr. Shukla moved to science administration and started her tenure as an SRO in the Extramural Review Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). One of her major assignments included working on the BRAIN Initiative; a White House Office of Technology Policy aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain. Besides the BRAIN Initiative, she worked on multiple NIH-funded announcements related to mental health, including various RFAs, Institutional Research Training grants, Career grants, PARs, Loan Repayment Program and Cooperative Agreements. The breadth of science reviewed under these grant mechanisms/activity codes ranged from basic neuroscience, genetics, basic behavioral science, research training, resource development, technology development, drug discovery, to neuroimmunology, AIDS and research dissemination.
Prior to her graduate studies, Dr. Shukla also worked (2000-2002) in the oncology department (drug discovery and development unit) of a leading pharmaceutical company in India, Dabur Research Foundation, where she was responsible for the research and development of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine.