Distinguished Scientist: Punita Dhawan, Ph.D.

February 19, 2020

Image with caption: Punita Dhawan, Ph.D.

Punita Dhawan, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2019 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Punita Dhawan, Ph.D
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: October 2014
  • Hometown: New Delhi, India

Research focus:

  • Gastrointestinal cancer

Distinguished Scientist

The Distinguished Scientist Award -- which is sponsored by the chancellor -- recognizes researchers who have been among the most productive scientists at UNMC during the past five years.

My primary areas of research are:

  • To understand the role and regulation of novel target proteins in colon cancer progression and metastasis.
  • Development of novel tools for detection and therapy of colon cancer.
  • Molecular targets and regulation of pancreatic cancer.

My research will make a difference because: Gastrointestinal cancers are among the most commonly diagnosed cancers worldwide. Our research will help determine the molecular mechanism/s involved in colon and pancreatic cancer progression and metastasis. Our studies are aimed at identifying novel targets that can be utilized for early stage biomarkers and therapies in patients with metastasis, and resistance to conventional cancer therapies.

The best advice I've ever been given is:

  • Hard work is the key to open all locks.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I love to watch Bollywood and Hollywood movies.
  • I am the mother of two teenage boys and the wife of a scientist.
  • I love to listen to music while working.


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February 19, 2020 at 8:08 PM

Congratulations Dr. Dhawan! An inspiration for budding women in STEM!

Mayank Singh
February 19, 2020 at 5:05 PM

Congratulations Punita.

Yashpal Singh Chhonker
February 19, 2020 at 4:21 PM


Sushanta Halder
February 19, 2020 at 2:44 PM

Congratulations Mam...

Rizwan Ahmad
February 19, 2020 at 9:27 AM


Sukhwinder Kaur
February 19, 2020 at 9:15 AM

Congratulations Dr. Dhawan !! You are an inspiration!!

amar singh
February 19, 2020 at 8:35 AM

I strongly believe that we should be the first one to congratulate you for this well deserving achievement. Many Congrats Dr. Dhawan. Your family is very proud of you!!! Amar, Aayush and Anuj

February 19, 2020 at 8:29 AM

Congratulations Dr. Dhawan.

Maneesh Jain
February 19, 2020 at 8:15 AM

Congratulations Punita!!! Proud of U!!!