Faculty Profile

Dr. Sharmila K. Makhija, M.D.,  M.B.A.

Sharmila K. Makhija, M.D., M.B.A.

Professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health (Gynecological Oncology)

Chair, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health

Chella and Moise Safra Chair in Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women's Health

Professional Interests

Sharmila Makhija, MD, MBA, an international expert on gynecologic cancer, currently serves as Department Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health, professor of gynecologic oncology, and the The Chella and Moise Safra Endowed Chair at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Health System. 

 Dr. Makhija earned her B.A. in chemistry from Cornell University, medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed her obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of Louisville Hospital and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at Memorial Sloan‐Kettering Cancer Center in New York. She received her executive MBA from Emory’s Goizueta Business School.

 She has published and lectured nationally and internationally on developmental therapeutics for the treatment of ovarian cancer, for which she was named a NIH Women’s Reproductive Health Research Scholar. Dr. Makhija is a graduate of the ELAM program an serves on numerous boards including Women’s Voices For Change.

Dr. Makhija has received teaching awards, listed as a “Top Doctor in America” and named in Louisville’s Business First, 2013 and 2014, Partners in Health Care as a “Person to Watch” for business leadership in healthcare.

Selected Publications

Makhija S, Spanos WJ Jr, Day TG Jr, Doering D. CA-125 levels after surgical exploration and

radioactive chromic phosphate in ovarian cancer patients. Gynecol Oncol. 63(1):85-8, Oct 1996.


Makhija S, Taylor DD, Gibb RK, Gercel-Taylor C. Taxol-induced b cl -2 phosphorylation in

ovarian cancer cell monolayer and spheroids. Int J of Oncol. 14(3):515-21, Mar 1999.


Makhija S, Sabbatini P, Aghajanian C, Venkatraman V, Spriggs DR, Barakat R.

Intraperitoneal cisplatin and intravenous taxol in the treatment of epithelial ovarian cancer patients

with a positive second look. Gynecol Oncol. 79(1):28-32, Oct 2000.


Makhija S, Leitao M, Sabbatini P, Bellin N, Almadrones L, Leon L, Spriggs DR, Barakat R.

Complications associated with intraperitoneal chemotherapy catheters. Gynecol Oncol.

81(1):77-81, Apr 2001.


Makhija S, Howden N, Edwards R, Kelley J, Townsend DW , Meltzer CC.

Positron emission tomography/computer tomography imaging for the detection of recurrent

ovarian and fallopian tube carcinoma: a retrospective review. Gynecol Oncol. 85(1):53-8,

Apr 2002.


Ohtsuka T, Buchsbaum D, Oliver P, Makhija S, Kimberly R, Zhou T. Synergistic induction of

tumor cell apoptosis by death receptor antibody and chemotherapy agent through JNK/p38

and mitochondrial death pathway. Oncogene. 22(13):2034-44, Apr 2003.


Makhija S, Sit A, Edwards R, Aufman K, Weiss H, Kanbour-Shakir A, Gooding B, D’Angelo G,

Ferrell R, Raja S, Godfrey T. Identification of genetic alterations related to chemoresistance in

epithelial ovarian cancer. Gynecol Oncol. 90(1):39, Jul 2003 (Lead Article)


Zhu ZB, Makhija SK, Lu B, Wang M, Kaliberova L, Liu B, Rivera AA, Nettelbeck DM, Mahasreshti

PJ, Leath CA, Yamamoto M, Alvarez RF, Curiel DT. Transcriptional targeting of adenoviral vector

through the CXCR4 tumor specific promoter. Gene Therapy. 11(7):645-8, Apr 2004.

Sharmila Makhija, MD, MBA,


Zhu Z, Makhija SK, Lu B, Wang M, Kaliberova L, Liu B, Rivera A, Nettelbeck D, Mahasreshti P,

Leath C, Barker S, Yamamoto M, Li F, Alvarez R, Curiel D. Transcriptionally targeting tumor

with a novel tumor-specific promoter, the survivin promoter. Cancer Gene Therapy. 11(7):645-

8, Apr 2004.


Zhu ZB, Makhija SK, Lu B, Wang M, Rivera AA, Preuss M, Zhou F, Siegal GP, Alvarez RD,

Curiel DT. Transport across a polarized monolayer of Caco-2 cells by transferring receptormediated

adenovirus transcytosis. Virology. 325 (1):116-28, Jul 2004.


Lu B, Makhija SK, Nettelbeck DM, Rivera AM, Wang M, Komarova S, Zhou F, Yamamoto M,

Haisma HJ, Alvarez RD, Curiel DT, Zhu ZB. Evaluation of tumor-specific promoter activities in

melanoma. Gene Therapy. 12(4):330-8, Feb 2005.


Sahasrabuddhe V, Makhija S. Double jeopardy: HIV and cervical cancer in Indian women.

Int J of Gyn Cancer. 15(1):1-3, Jan-Feb 2005.


 Rocconi R, Makhija S, Alvarez R. Emerging therapeutic options for patients with

chemoresistant recurrent ovarian cancer: A literature analysis. New Oncology: Ovarian

Cancer. 1(1):10-15, 2005.


Rocconi R, Numnum T, Stoff-Khalili M, Makhija S, Alvarez R, Curiel D. Targeted gene

therapy for ovarian cancer. Current Gene Therapy. 5(6):643-53, Dec 2005 Review.


 Zhu ZB, Makhija SK, Lu B, Wang M, Rivera AA, Kim-Park S, Ulasov IV, Zhou F, Alvarez

RD, Siegal G, Curiel DT. Incorporating the survivin promoter in an infectivity enhanced

CRAd-analysis of oncolysis and anti-tumor effects in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol.

27(1):237-46, Jul 2005.


Rocconi R, Numnum M, Zhu A, Lu Baogen, Wang M, Rivera A, Stoff-Khalili M, Alvarez R,

Curiel DT, Makhija S. Icodextrin enhances survival in an intraperitoneal ovarian cancer

murine model utilizing gene therapy. Gynecol Oncol. 12(103):985-89, Dec 2006. Epub Jul

20, 2006.


Li Y, Wang H, Wang Z, Makhija S, Buchsbaum D, LoBuglio A, Kimberly R, Zhou T.

Inducible resistance of tumor cells to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing

ligand receptor 2-mediated apoptosis by generation of a blockade at the death domain

function. Cancer Res. 66(17):8520-8 Sep 2006.


Zhu ZB, Chen Y, Makhija S, Lu B, Wang M, Rivera AA, Yamamoto M, Wang S, Siegal

GP, Curiel DT, McDonald JM. Survivin promoter-based conditionally replicative

adenoviruses target cholangiocarcinoma. Int J Oncol. 29(5):1319-29, Nov 2006.


Zhu ZB, Makhija SK, Lu B, Wang M, Wang S, Takayama K, Siegal GP, Reynolds PN,

Curiel DT. Targeting mesothelioma using an infectivity enhanced survivin-conditionally

replicative adenoviruses. J Thorac Oncol. 1(7):701-11, Sep 2006.


Zhu ZB, Rivera AA, Makhija S, Lu B, Wang M, Izumi M, Cerfolio RJ, Stoff-Khalili MA, Zhou

F, Takayama K, Siegal GP, Curiel DT. Targeting lung cancer using an infectivity enhanced

CXCR4-CRAd. Lung Cancer. 55(2):145-56, Feb 2007.


Rocconi RP, Zhu ZB, Stoff-Khalili M, Rivera AA, Lu B, Wang M, Alvarez RD, Curiel DT,

Makhija S. Treatment of ovarian cancer with a novel dual targeted conditionally replicative

adenovirus (CRAd). Gynecol Oncol. 105(1):113-21, Apr 2007.

Sharmila Makhija, MD, MBA,


Page JG, Tian B, Schweikart K, Tomaszewski J, Harris R, Broadt T, Polley-Nelson J,

Noker PE, Wang M, Makhija S, Aurigemma R, Curiel DT, Alvarez RD. Identifying the

safety profile of a novel infectivity-enhanced conditionally replicative adenovirus, Ad5-

delta24-RGD, in anticipation of a phase I trial for recurrent ovarian cancer. Am J Obstet

Gynecol. 196(4):389,1-9, Apr 2007. Epud Nov 17, 2006.


Zhu ZB, Mathis MJ, Makhija SK, Lu B, Wang M, Ji S, Rivera AA, Rosenthal EL, Siegal GP,

Curiel DT. Targeting of a conditionally replicative adenovirus agent to human squamous cell

carcinomas of the head and neck. Int J Oncol. 31(5):1213-22, Nov 2007.


Numnum TM, Makhija S, Lu B, Wang M, Rivera A, Stoff-Khalili M, Alvarez RD, Zhu ZB,

Curiel DT. Improved anti-tumor therapy based upon infectivity-enhanced adenoviral

delivery of RNA interference in ovarian carcinoma cell lines. Gynecol Oncol. 108(1):34-41,

Jan 2008. Epub Dec 3, 2007.


Zhu ZB, Lu B, Park M, Makhija S, Numnum T, Kendrick J, Wang M, Tsuruta Y, Fisher P,

Alvarez RD, Zhou F, Siegal G, W u H, Curiel DT. Development of an optimized conditionally

replicative adenoviral agent for ovarian cancer. Int J Oncol. 32(6):1179-88, Jun 2008.


Makhija S. The limitation of risk-based strategies for vaccination of the 19-26 year-old

female population. US Obstetrics and Gynecology. 3(2); 60-1, 2008.


Makhija S, Amler, L, Glenn D, Ueland F, Gold M, Dizon D, Paton V, Lin C-Y, Januario T, Ng K,

Strauss A, Kelsey S, Sliwkowski M, Matulonis U. Clinical activity of gemcitabine plus

pertuzumab in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.

J Clin Oncol. 1;28(7):1215-23, Mar 2010. Epub Nov 9, 2009.


Spriggs DR, Makhija S. Ovarian Cancer Staging: Time for a Closer Look? J Clin Oncol,

August 1998.


Makhija S, Sabbatini P, Barakat RR. Intraperitoneal chemotherapy strategies in the treatment

of ovarian cancer carcinoma. Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 11(1):23-7, Feb 1999. Review.


Makhija S. Commentary: Tubal ligation and risk of ovarian cancer in carriers of BRCA1

or BRCA 2 mutations: a case control study. Women’s Oncology Review, September



Makhija S, Townsend D, Meltzer C, Curiel D. Advances in ovarian cancer imaging: the positron

emission tomography / computed tomography (PET/CT). W omen's Oncology Review. 2:129-133,



Books, Chapters in books, and Review Articles


Makhija S, Barakat R, Markman M, Hoskins WJ. Borderline tumors of the ovary.

In Raghavan D, Brecher M, Johnson D, Meropol N, Thigpen T (eds). The Textbook of

Uncommon Cancer (2nd Ed), John Wiley and Sons, 1999.


Makhija S, Barakat R. Surgical oncology: An algorithmic approach. In Saclarides TJ,

Millikan KW , Godellas CV (eds). Endometrial Cancer. 2001.


Makhija S, Partridge E. Pelvic exenteration. In Sciarra J (ed), Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Vol. No. 14, Chapter 10, 1-8 pp, 2003.


 Estes JM, Conner M, and Makhija S. A 59 year-old female with IIIC endometrial

carcinoma: Controversies and approaches to management. In DS Dizon and NA Rustum.

Gynecologic Cancer: Evidence-Based Multidisciplinary Management, Sudbury, MA: Jones &

Bartlett, 2007.


 Makhija S, Partridge E. Pelvic Exenteration. In Sciarra J (ed), Gynecology and Obstetrics, 2008.


 Nadkarni N, Perez C, Tew W, Makhija S. Cervical cancer. In Pazdur R, Wagman L,

Camphausen K, Hoskins W (eds). Cancer Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach. (Ed.

12), Chapter 17, 441-474 pp, 2009.


Gattoc, L, Makhija S. Radical hysterectomy. In Lubin MF, Dodson TF, Winawer N (eds).

Medical Management of the Surgical Patient: A Textbook of Perioperative Medicine (5th

Ed). Chapter 24.4, Cambridge University Press. 2011.


Gattoc L, Perez C, Tew W, Makhija S. Cervical Cancer. In Pazdur R, Wagman L,

Camphausen K , Hoskins W (eds). Cancer Management: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

(Ed 16). Chapter 17, 2014.

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

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Research Information

In the News

The Daily News published an op-ed by Dr. Sharmila Makhija on the importance of funding for Planned Parenthood.

CNN interviews Dr. Sharmila Makhija on a study linking some antibiotics with an increased risk of miscarriage.

More media coverage