Laboratory of Kalipada Pahan, PhD

The rationale of the laboratory of Kalipada Pahan, PhD, is both academic and therapeutic. From the academic angle, the Pahan lab is trying to understand molecular mechanisms behind glial cell activation and neuronal death under various neuroinflammatory and neurogenerative conditions. While for therapeutic purposes, they are involved in discovering and/or repurposing drugs to suppress pathogenic mechanisms in multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Batten disease, and HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders.

Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are regarded as the master regulator of immune responses because this cell type maintains the homeostasis between immune activation and immune suppression. In autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis (MS), the number of Tregs is reduced, leading to the dysregulation of immune responses. Currently, the Pahan lab is funded by a grant from the NCCAM (NIH) and a merit award from the Veterans Affairs to investigate if and how cinnamon (a widely-used natural spice) and aspirin (a widely-used analgesic) upregulate Tregs to maintain immune homeostasis during autoimmune insults.

Demyelination is another key aspect in MS, which is caused by the loss of oligodendrocytes, myelin forming cells of the central nervous system. Funded by a grant from the NINDS (NIH), they will investigate if a new group of physiological drugs protect oligodendrocytes and improve myelination in animal models of MS.

Although the rate of disease progression varies from patient to patient, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. However, the mechanism behind disease progression is poorly understood. Being funded by a grant from the NINDS (NIH) and a merit award from Veterans Affairs, they are targeting possible factors involved in progressive loss of dopamine in order to stop the disease progression and improve locomotor function.
One of the most common signs of Alzheimer’s disease is memory loss and despite intense investigations, no effective therapy is available to improve memory in AD. Being funded by a grant from the NIA (NIH), we are examining if our newly-identified hippocampal drugs stimulate neuronal plasticity, protect the hippocampus and improve memory and learning in animal models.

They are also funded by other organizations (e.g. Alzheimer’s Association), private foundations (e.g. Cures Within the Reach, Noah’s Hope Foundation) and biotech companies (e.g. Revalesio corporation, Polaryx Therapeutics, Inc.) to work on other aspects of different neurological disorders.

Our team

  • Avik Roy, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences and Biochemistry
  • Malabendu Jana, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences
  • Susanta Mondal, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences
  • Suresh B. Rangasamy, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Madhuchhanda Kundu, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Sudipta Chakrabarti, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Anshuman Singh, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Hanxing Liu, MD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Tim Prorok, Graduate (PhD) student
  • Sujyoti Chandra, Graduate (PhD) student
  • Dhruv R. Patel, Graduate (PhD) student
  • Carl G. Gottschalk, Graduate (PhD) student
  • Sridevi Dasarathi, Research Technologist


 

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