Shaifali Bhalla, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Shaifali Bhalla, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Midwestern University
Chicago College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Alumni Hall South Room 376
555 31st Street
Downers Grove, IL 60515

Office: (630) 515-6308
e-mail: mailto:



Ph.D. Pharmacodynamics University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago IL 2005
B.Pharm. (Hons.) Pharmacy Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India 1998


The broad area of research in my laboratory is opioid tolerance and withdrawal.  My research interests include the role of the central endothelin system in pharmacological actions of opioid analgesics such as morphine and oxycodone. We are presently investigating the mechanism by which endothelin-A receptor antagonists enhance opioid analgesia and reverse analgesic tolerance. Our research is also focused on the role of endothelin-B receptors in neurovascular remodeling in the brain during opioid withdrawal.

Project I: Investigating the mechanism of endothelin-A receptor interaction with opioid analgesics
We have found that endothelin-A receptor antagonism potentiates opioid analgesia and reverses analgesic tolerance. Withdrawal symptoms of opioids such as morphine and oxycodone are also reversed. Preliminary findings suggest that the enhancement of analgesia and reversal of tolerance is mediated via a G-protein mediated mechanism. We will investigate the activation and expression of G-protein coupled receptors under acute and chronic exposure to opioids in the presence and absence of endothelin-A receptor antagonists.

Project II: Endothelin-B receptors in angiogenesis and neurogenesis in opioid tolerance and withdrawal
In this project we propose to evaluate the role of endothelin-B receptors in opioid tolerance and withdrawal. Using chronic opioid treatment regimens, morphine and oxycodone tolerance will be induced in animal models. Withdrawal will be precipitated using naloxone and the dose-response effect of IRL1620 (endothelin-B receptor selective agonist) on tolerance and withdrawal symptoms will be determined. The expression of endothelin A and B receptors, vascular endothelial growth factor, and nerve growth factor will be determined in the brain. It is anticipated that through use of endothelin-B agonists, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms may be reversed and analgesic efficacy of opioids may be restored.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Bhalla S, Ali I, Andurkar SV, Gulati A. Centhaquin antinociception in mice is mediated by α2A- and α2B- but not α2C-adrenoceptors. Eur J Pharmacol. 2013 Sep 5;715(1-3):328-36. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.05.004. Epub 2013 May 24. PMID: 23712005
  2. Bhalla S, Ali I, Lee H, Andurkar SV, Gulati A. Potentiation of oxycodone antinociception in mice by agmatine and BMS182874 via an imidazoline I2 receptor-mediated mechanism. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2013 Jan;103(3):550-60. doi: 10.1016/j.pbb.2012.10.007. Epub 2012 Oct 26. PMID: 23103903
  3. Bhalla S, Andurkar SV, Gulati A. Involvement of α₂-adrenoceptors, imidazoline, and endothelin-A receptors in the effect of agmatine on morphine and oxycodone-induced hypothermia in mice. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Oct;27(5):498-509. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-8206.2012.01046.x. Epub 2012 Jun 11. PMID: 22681550
  4. Bhalla S, Andurkar SV, Gulati A. Study of adrenergic, imidazoline, and endothelin receptors in clonidine-, morphine-, and oxycodone-induced changes in rat body temperature. Pharmacology. 2011;87(3-4):169-79. doi: 10.1159/000324537. Epub 2011 Mar 8. PMID: 21389745
  5. Bhalla S, Rapolaviciute V, Gulati A. Determination of α(2)-adrenoceptor and imidazoline receptor involvement in augmentation of morphine and oxycodone analgesia by agmatine and BMS182874. Eur J Pharmacol. 2011 Jan 25;651(1-3):109-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.10.090. Epub 2010 Nov 27. PMID: 21114998
  6. Bhalla S, Zhang Z, Patterson N, Gulati A. Effect of endothelin-A receptor antagonist on mu, delta and kappa opioid receptor-mediated antinociception in mice. Eur J Pharmacol. 2010 Jun 10;635(1-3):62-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2010.03.003. Epub 2010 Mar 19. PMID: 20303944
  7. Gulati A, Bhalla S, Matwyshyn G, Zhang Z, Andurkar SV. Determination of adrenergic and imidazoline receptor involvement in augmentation of morphine and oxycodone analgesia by clonidine and BMS182874. Pharmacology. 2009;83(1):45-58. doi: 10.1159/000178812. Epub 2008 Dec 4. PMID: 19052482

Book Review

  1. Bhalla S., Book Review: PharmDceutics: Applied Biopharmaceutics for Clinical Pharmacists. Timothy B. McPherson. PharmDceutics, Inc., Edwardsville, IL (2012). 236pp. ISBN:978-0-9859050-0-2. Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning 6 (2014): 460-461.

Book Chapters

  1. Bhalla S., Parenteral Drug Delivery. Gibaldi's Drug Delivery Systems in Pharmaceutical Care. Eds. Desai and Lee. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2007.
  2. Patel P.J., and Bhalla S., Pain Management. Gibaldi's Drug Delivery Systems in Pharmaceutical Care. Eds. Desai and Lee. American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2007.

Chicago College of Pharmacy (CCP):
PSCI1515: Introduction to Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics
PSCI1301: Special Projects or Research


PS-1 Teacher of the Year, 2013-2014
PS-1 Teacher of the Year, 2012-2013
PS-1 Teacher of the Year, 2011-2012


Member, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists
Member, American College of Clinical Pharmacology (ACCP)
Member, American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy