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Kumaraswamy Naidu Chitrala

Kumaraswamy Naidu Chitrala headshot
Assistant Professor
Technology Division, Cullen College of Engineering

Kumaraswamy Naidu Chitrala, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the Cullen College of Engineering with the Department of Engineering Technology. His core interests include bioinformatics and computational biology, statistical genetics, epidemiology, epigenetics, cancer biology, health disparities, neurological disorders, and aging. Chitrala’s research integrates experimental approaches with transcriptomic, genomic data analysis tools and algorithms that perform a broad range of data analysis for emerging genomic technologies. Through his work, Chitrala has published over 53 peer-reviewed manuscripts most of which have been published in high-impact journals and has presented his research regionally, nationally, and internationally.

He has served as a reviewer at several NIH and NSF study sections, he’s an editorial member for various high impact journals, and is one of the HEALTH Center for Addictions Research and Cancer Prevention (HEALTH-RCMI)’s Pilot Grant Program awardees from Fall 2022 cycle. For the Pilot Grant Program, Chitrala has conducted a yearlong study investigating the racial disparities in triple-negative breast cancer among African American and white patients.

Chitrala's research focuses on elucidating health disparities in cancer among the unrepresented populations and population groups with lower socioeconomic status in the Houston area. Chitrala’s work is completely translational as the as the results can be utilized in everyday precision-based clinical practice for population groups with high mortality risk, such as, African Americans. Chitrala also provides training to UH students and postdocs pursuing health outcomes, health disparities, and disease research.

Research Areas


It’s a jarring reality in the U.S. that health disparities significantly impact disease differences between African Americans and other ethnicities, and racial health gap has persisted, according to JAMA. In the case of breast cancer, there is a stark racial health divide. In fact, African American women are 41 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than their white counterparts, despite the lower incidence of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
May 18, 2023