Dr. Dhar earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Chemistry from University of Pune, India. She also earned her PhD in Chemistry with a specialization in Biochemistry from the same university. After getting her Ph.D. degree she came to US as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biochemistry, University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Continuing with her postdoctoral training, she later joined the Biology Division in Oak Ridge National Laboratory. At ORNL she cloned a novel candidate gene affecting body weight and insulin resistance in mice. When she joined the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences as an Assistant Professor, she received extramural grants from NIDDK/NIH and the American Heart Association to continue her research on this novel mouse model. Subsequently she also received funding from the American Diabetes Association. She successfully mentored one MS and one PhD student on these projects. In 2009 she established the Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine in the department. She is the principal investigator leading this laboratory which is involved in basic and clinical research of cell-based therapies. The laboratory provides molecularly and cellularly characterized adult mesenchymal stem cells to the clinic, in-house. She has held external grants through the Morris Animal Foundation and the Physician’s Medical, Educational and Research Foundation to support stem cells work. She is currently an Associate Professor in the department. Her research interests and the current projects in the lab include isolation and characterization of adult stem cells in horses and other production animals, goat and sheep. She also has collaborations with the faculty from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville and from the Nanotechnology Center, University of Arkansas; investigating the interaction between equine and caprine adult stem cells with scaffolds engineered for bone and cartilage regeneration.
Focus Areas: Regenerative Medicine | Molecular and Cellular Biology | Animal models of diabetes and obesity | In vitro and Ex vivo models to study molecular and cellular behavior of mesenchymal stem cells | Cell-based therapies for bone and cartilage regeneration
Skills and Expertise: Isolation of adult mesenchymal stem cells from a variety of adult tissues | Molecular and cellular assays to characterize mesenchymal stem cells |Gene Expression | Gene Cloning | Mouse Models for obesity and diabetes research | Flow cytometery | Platelet-rich plasma-based therapies