Please note: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will now be called "UT Health San Antonio."

Search Program Faculty/Research

Shivani Ruparel, Ph.D.



Dr. Shivani Ruparel is currently an assistant professor at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s in microbiology in India. Following her passion, she came to the United States to attend the Cellular and Structural Biology Ph.D. program at UTHSCSA in 2003. While she was a graduate student, she studied the role of telomerase in prostate cancer under the guidance of Dr. Robert Marciniak and Dr. Linda deGraffenried. Following her doctorate degree, she received post-doctoral training in pain and neuropharmacology under Dr. Kenneth Hargreaves. As an Assistant Professor, her research program focuses on elucidating mechanisms for cancer cells and sensory neuron interactions in mediating pain as well as tumorigenesis. Specifically, Her research investigates the contribution of oral cancer cells in regulating sensory nerve terminals at the site of tumor growth leading to cancer-induced pain and studying the mechanisms underlying this communication. Additionally, Her group is also exploring the involvement of sensory neurons in regulating oral tumor development and progression.

She has received numerous grants from various funding sources including NIH, American Cancer Society and William and Ella Owens Foundation.

Selected Publications 

Hargreaves KM, Ruparel S. Role of Oxidized Lipids and TRP Channels in Orofacial Pain and Inflammation Journal of Dental Research 2016 Sep;95(10):1117-1123.

Chodroff L, Bendele M, Valenzuela V, Henry MA, Ruparel S. BDNF Contributes to Oral Cancer pain in A Preclinical Orthotopic Rodent Model Molecular Pain 2016 Sep;2(12).

Green D, Ruparel S, Gao X, Ruparel N, Patil M, Akopian AN, Hargreaves KM. Central activation of TRPV1 and TRPA1 by novel enodgneous agonists contributes to mechanical and thermal allodynia after burn injury 2016 Jan;.

Eskander M, Ruparel S, Green D, Por E, Chen P, Jeske NA, Gao X, Flores E, Hargreaves KM. Persistent nociception triggered by nerve growth factor (NGF) is mediated by TRPV1 and oxidative mechanisms Journal of Neuroscience 2015 Jun;35:8593-8603.

Ruparel S, Bendele M, Wallace A, Green D. Released Lipids Regulate Transient Receptor Potential Channel (TRP)-Dependent Oral Cancer Pain Molecular Pain 2015 Jan;.

Ruparel N, Ruparel S, Paul Chen, Blake Ishikawa, Diogenes AR. Direct Effect of Endodontic Sealers on Trigeminal Neurons Journal of Endodontics 2014 May;40(5):683-687.

Patil, Mayur, Ruparel S, Henry MA, Akopian AN. Prolactin Regulates TRPV1, TRPA1 and TRPM8 in Sensory Neurons in Sex-dependent Manner: Contribution of Prolactin Receptor to Inflammatory Pain American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism 2013 Nov;305(9):1154-1164.

Brandfellner HM, Ruparel SB, Gelfond JA, Hargreaves KM. Major blunt trauma evokes selective upregulation of oxidative enzymes in circulating leukocytes Shock 2013 Sep;40(3):182-187.

Ruparel S, Hargreaves KM, Eskander M, Rowan S, Almeida JFA, Roman LJ, Henry MA. The Oxidized Linoleic Acid Metabolite-Cytochrome P450 System is Active in Biopsies from Patients with Inflammatory Dental Pain PAIN 2013 Jan;154:2363-2371.

Green D, Ruparel S, Roman LJ, Henry MA, Hargreaves KM. Role of Endogenous TRPV1 Agonists in a Post-Burn Pain Model of Partial-Thickness Injury PAIN 2013 Jan;154:2512-2520.

Ruparel S, Henry MA, Akopian AN, Patil. Mayur J, Zeldin. D.S., Roman. L.J., Hargreaves KM. Plasticity of cytochrome P450 isozyme expression in rat trigeminal ganglia neurons during inflammation. AT PRESS PAIN 2012 Oct;153(10):2031-2039.

Ruparel S, Green D, Chen P, Hargreaves KM. The cytochrome P450 inhibitor, ketoconazole, inhibits OLAM-mediated peripheral inflammatory pain Molecular Pain 2012 Sep;8(73).

Assistant Professor - Tenure Track, Endodontics 


Ph.D., Cellular and Structural Biology, UT Health San Antonio, 2009

M.S., Clinical Investigation, UT Health San Antonio, 2015

M.S. Microbiology, Bhavan's College, 2002

B.S., Microbiology, Mumbai University, 2000


Phone: 210-567-4413


Alumni Spotlight article

Graduate Students

Jacob Boyd (M.D./Ph.D)