Dr. Avula serves as a program director for NCI's Nanodelivery Systems and Devices Branch (NSDB). She manages nanotechnology projects and grants, participates in the development of new initiatives, and evaluates the effectiveness of programs within the Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer.
Prior to joining the NSDB, Dr. Avula served as a Program Analyst in the Office of Training and Education (OTE), Center for Cancer Training (CCT), NCI, and has worked on programmatic, policy, review, analytical and organizational responsibilities to help advance NCI's mission. Dr. Avula also served as a Cancer Research Training Award (CRTA) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at NCI. In this role, she worked on uncovering the pathophysiological and mechanistic role of Mesothelin in the process of development of pancreas cancer intraperitoneal metastasis.
Dr. Avula received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Her thesis work focused on the role of a novel G-protein-coupled receptor subfamily (Mas-related G-protein-coupled receptors) in neuro-immune interaction in intestinal inflammatory disorders.
Dr. Avula received The Fellows Award for Research Excellence (FARE) Award at NIH in the Tumor Biology and Metastasis study section in 2020.