College of Medicine / About / Departments / Biomedical Science Department / Vijaya Iragavarapu-Charyulu, Ph.D.

Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, BC-71
Boca Raton, FL 33431
(561) 297-4828


Associate Professor of Biomedical Science

Headshot of Vijaya Iragavarapu-Charyulu, Ph.D.
Tel. (561) 297-3304


Vijaya Iragavarapu-Charyulu received her B.S. degree from the University of Miami with a Major in Biology and Minor in Chemistry followed by a Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology also from the University of Miami. Her doctoral research focused on the role of mouse mammary tumor virus in B lymphocytes during mammary tumor progression. Her postdoctoral training was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Julius George Bekesi at Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York. Dr. Iragavarapu-Charyulu’s post-doctoral research revolved around understanding how chemical carcinogens promote leukemia and their effect on the immune system. After her postdoctoral fellowship, she took a family leave of absence. She then did a second postdoctoral training in Dr. Diana Lopez’s laboratory at the University of Miami where she studied the role of chemokines in breast cancer progression. In 1999, Dr. Iragavarpu-Charyulu joined Florida Atlantic University as an educator in the College of Education in the Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences. Three years later, she joined Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine when it first opened in 2002. Her current research focus is on determining the role of exosomes in cell communication and establishing a pre-metastatic niche. The results of this research will enhance the knowledge on mechanisms by which tumors metastasize and lead to targeted therapies.

In addition to her research, Dr. Iragavarapu-Charyulu is committed to education and training. She has trained Masters and Ph.D. students in her laboratory. She is currently a co-Director of the Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences Course for the 1st year medical students.

  • 1975: B.A., Biological Sciences, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • 1980: PhD., Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida
  • 1998: B.S., Medical Technology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
  • Harvard-Macy Scholar

  • 2008-Present: Associate Professor, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
  • 2000-Present: Visiting Professor, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
  • 2002-2008: Assistant Professor, College of Biomedical Sciences, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida
  • 1999-2002: Assistant Professor, Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Florida Atlantic University
  • 1998-1999: Medical Technologist, Department of Pathology, Holy Cross Hospital, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • 1996: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
  • 1995-1999: Instructor, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  • 1993-1995: Post Doctoral Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Miami, Miami, FL
  • 1980-1981: Post Doctoral Fellow, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York

  • Libreros, S., Garcia-Areas, R., Keating, P., Gazaniga, N., Robinson, P., Humbles, A., &Iragavarapu-Charyulu, V.L. (2015). Allergen induced pulmonary inflammation enhances mammary tumor growth and metastasis: Role of CHI3L1. Journal of leukocyte biology, 97(5), 929-940.
  • Stephania Libreros, R. Garcia-Areas, Y.Shibata, R. Carrio, and V. Iragavarapu-Charyulu. Induction proinflammatory mediators by CHI3L1 is reduced by chitin treatment: decreased tumor metastasis in a breast cancer model, Int. J. Cancer. 2011.
  • Jennifer L. Owen, M. F. Criscitiello, S. Libreros, R. Garcia-Areas, K. Guthrie, M. Torroella-Kouri, and Jennifer L. Owen, M. F. Criscitiello, S. Libreros, R. Garcia-Areas, R K. Guthrie, M. Torroella-Kouri, and V. Iragavarapu-Charyulu. Expression of the inflammatory chemokines CCL2, CCL5 and CXCL2 and the receptors CCR1-3 and CXCR2 in T lymphocytes from mammary tumor-bearering mice. Cellular Immunology, 270: 172-182. 2011.
  • Roberto Carrio, M. Torroella-Kouri, V. Iragavarapu-Charyulu, and D.M. Lopez. Tumor-induced thymic atrophy: Alteration in interferons and Jak/Stats signaling pathways. International J. Oncology, 38(2): 547-53. 2011.
  • Roberto Caso, R. Silvera, R. Carrio, V. Iragavarapu-Charyulu, RR Gozalez-Perez, and M. Torroella-Kouri. Blood monocytes from tumor-bearing mice: early targets of tumor-induced immune suppression? International J. Oncology, 37(4): 891-900. 2010.

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Research Interests

  • Tumor immunology
  • Role of Semaphorins (axonal guidance molecules) in breast cancer
  • Effect of chitinase-3-like-1 (CHI3L1) molecule in breast cancer progression
  • Chitin and immune modulation to inhibit tumor growth and metastasis
  • Effect of nicotine on breast cancer growth and metastasis

Last Modified 6/16/22