Rajashekhar Gangaraju, Ph.D.
Department of Ophthalmology, Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute
Department of Cellular & Integrative Physiology, Indiana Center for Vascular Biology & Medicine
The long-term goal of the Gangaraju laboratory is to understand mechanisms and mediators underlying the roles of adult stem cells in ocular health and disease, with particular focus on retinal vascular development and pathology. We primarily utilize preclinical in vitro and in vivo models to investigate the potential of our findings for clinical translation, with the long term goal of advancing clinical management of diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, the leading causes of blindness in the Western world.
- Ph.D. - National University of Singapore, Singapore
- M.S. – Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India
- B.S. – Osmania University, Hyderabad, India
Certifications and Specialized Training
- Postdoctoral Fellowship in Vascular Biology
- Adipose stromal/stem cells in retinal diseases
- Chronic Inflammation and Diabetic Retinopathy
- Uveitis and Inflammation
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the most common vascular complication in patients with long-standing diabetes. In USA, nearly 5.4% (nearly 7.6 million individuals) of the general population is known to have DR and all patients diagnosed with diabetes develop some form of retinopathy within 20 years. Furthermore, DR is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults. Future projections suggest that DR will become a larger public health problem, due to an increase in the aging population as well as an increased prevalence of diabetes.
Current strategies for the treatment of DR include laser treatment, but this approach is not effective in all patients and involves significant damage to the retina itself. Although insulin treatment can delay the onset of diabetic complications, it does not prevent from progressing into DR suggesting that the hyperglycemic stress is irreversible. Using animal models it has been shown that the early stages of DR are associated with local inflammation and loss of protective cells (pericytes) around blood vessels. In the subsequent stages, progressive capillary and neurodegeneration results in significant loss of vision.
In recent years, the concept has evolved of repairing terminally differentiated organs with cell-based therapy. Diverse stem cells including ocular tissue-specific endogenous stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, endothelial progenitor cells, bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are being used by a number of investigators in several ocular diseases. Our laboratory explores the role of adipose stem/stromal cells (ASC) in retinal diseases.
Cells derived from the stromal fraction of human adipose tissue are readily available and could potentially be useful as a therapeutic strategy in DR. In vivo, ASC have been shown to have functional and phenotypic overlap with pericytes lining microvessels in adipose tissues1. Furthermore, we and others have shown that ASC act both in a paracrine manner as well as by direct physical interaction with endothelial cells to modulate angiogenesis2, reduce skeletal muscle ischemia and tissue loss3, limit myocardial infarction4, promote skin repair5, and provide neuroprotective function6. These seminal studies have led to the concept that the adipose tissue may provide a novel autologous source of putative stem cells with significant potential for tissue repair and rescue from diabetic injury.
We employ a variety of animal models and cell culture models to tease out the role for ASC in retinal diseases. The long-term goal of our laboratory is to demonstrate a population of readily available adult stem cells derived from fat tissue that can be employed to limit diabetic retinal damage. Our research will establish a foundation for Phase I human clinical trials of ASC-based therapeutics in DR.
1 D. O. Traktuev, S. Merfeld-Clauss, J. Li, M. Kolonin, W. Arap, R. Pasqualini, B. H. Johnstone, and K. L. March, "A population of multipotent CD34-positive adipose stromal cells share pericyte and mesenchymal surface markers, reside in a periendothelial location, and stabilize endothelial networks," Circ Res 102 (1), 77-85 (2008).
2 G. Rajashekhar, D. O. Traktuev, W. C. Roell, B. H. Johnstone, S. Merfeld-Clauss, B. Van Natta, E. D. Rosen, K. L. March, and M. Clauss, "IFATS collection: Adipose stromal cell differentiation is reduced by endothelial cell contact and paracrine communication: role of canonical Wnt signaling," Stem Cells 26 (10), 2674-2681 (2008).
3 J. Rehman, D. Traktuev, J. Li, S. Merfeld-Clauss, C. J. Temm-Grove, J. E. Bovenkerk, C. L. Pell, B. H. Johnstone, R. V. Considine, and K. L. March, "Secretion of angiogenic and antiapoptotic factors by human adipose stromal cells," Circulation 109 (10), 1292-1298 (2004).
4 L. Cai, B. H. Johnstone, T. G. Cook, Z. Liang, D. Traktuev, K. Cornetta, D. A. Ingram, E. D. Rosen, and K. L. March, "Suppression of hepatocyte growth factor production impairs the ability of adipose-derived stem cells to promote ischemic tissue revascularization," Stem Cells 25 (12), 3234-3243 (2007).
5 E. S. Dhong, N. H. Hwang, D. W. Kim, G. Rajashekhar, B. H. Johnstone, and K. L. March, "Morphologic changes in photodamaged organotypic human skin culture after treatment of autologous adipose-derived stromal cells," The Journal of craniofacial surgery 23 (3), 805-811 (2012).
6 X. Wei, Z. Du, L. Zhao, D. Feng, G. Wei, Y. He, J. Tan, W. H. Lee, H. Hampel, R. Dodel, B. H. Johnstone, K. L. March, M. R. Farlow, and Y. Du, "IFATS collection: The conditioned media of adipose stromal cells protect against hypoxia-ischemia-induced brain damage in neonatal rats," Stem Cells 27 (2), 478-488 (2009).
Gangaraju's Laboratory is funded by the generous support from these organizations.
Ralph W. and Grace M. Showalter Research Trust Fund
Peer reviewed publications
- Rajashekhar G, Ramadan A, Abburi C, Callaghan B, Traktuev DO, Evans-Molina C, Maturi R, Harris A, Kern TS, March KL. Regenerative therapeutic potential of adipose stromal cells in early stage diabetic retinopathy. PLoS One. 2014 Jan 9;9(1):e84671. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084671.PMID:24416262
- Green LA, Petrusca D, Rajashekhar G, Gianaris T, Schweitzer KS, Wang L, Justice MJ, Petrache I, Clauss M.Cigarette Smoke-Induced CXCR3 Receptor Upregulation Mediates Endothelial Apoptosis. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012 Dec;47(6):807-14. Pubmed PMID: 22936405.
- Dhong ES, Hwang NH, Kim DW, Rajashekhar G, Johnstone BH, March KL. Morphologic changes in photodamaged organotypic human skin culture after treatment of autologous adipose-derived stromal cells. J Craniofac Surg. 2012 May;23(3):805-11. PubMed PMID: 22565925.
- Green LA, Kim C, Gupta SK, Rajashekhar G, Rehman J, Clauss M. Pentoxifylline Reduces Tumor Necrosis Factor-a and HIV-Induced Vascular Endothelial Activation. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Oct;28(10):1207-15. PubMed PMID: 22463742
- Rajashekhar G*, Gupta A, Marin A, Friedrich J, Willuweit A, Berg DT, Cramer MS, Sandusky GE, Sutton TA, Basile DP, Grinnell BW, Clauss M. Soluble thrombomodulin reduces inflammation and prevents microalbuminuria induced by chronic endothelial activation in transgenic mice. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2012Mar;302(6):F703-12. Epub 2011 Nov 30. PubMed PMID: 22129968. * Corresponding author
- Clauss M*, Voswinckel R*, Rajashekhar G, Sigua NL, Fehrenbach H, Rush NI, Schweitzer KS, Yildirim AÃ–, Kamocki K, Fisher AJ, Gu Y, Safadi B, Nikam S, Hubbard WC, Tuder RM, Twigg HL 3rd, Presson RG, Sethi S, Petrache I. Lung endothelial monocyte-activating protein 2 is a mediator of cigarette smoke-induced emphysema in mice. J Clin Invest. 2011 Jun;121(6):2470-9. PubMed PMID: 21576822. * Equal 1st author
- Rajashekhar G*, Kamocka M, Marin A, Suckow MA, Wolter WR, Badve S, Sanjeevaiah AR, Pumiglia K, Rosen E, Clauss M. Pro-inflammatory angiogenesis is mediated by p38 MAP kinase. J Cell Physiol. 2011 Mar;226(3):800-8. PubMed PMID: 20803566. * Corresponding author
- Diab KJ, Adamowicz JJ, Kamocki K, Rush NI, Garrison J, Gu Y, Schweitzer KS, Skobeleva A, Rajashekhar G, Hubbard WC, Berdyshev EV, Petrache I. Stimulation of sphingosine 1-phosphate signaling as an alveolar cell survival strategy in emphysema. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2010 Feb 15;181(4):344-52. PubMed PMID: 19965812.
- Shivanna M, Rajashekhar G, Srinivas SP. Barrier dysfunction of the corneal endothelium in response to TNF-alpha: role of p38 MAP kinase. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Mar;51(3):1575-82. PubMed PMID: 19797215.
- Rajashekhar G, Mitnacht-Kraus R, Ispe U, Garrison J, Hou Y, Taylor B, Petrache I, Vestweber D, Clauss M. A monoclonal rat anti-mouse EMAP II antibody thatfunctionally neutralizes pro- and mature-EMAP II in vitro. J Immunol Methods. 2009 Oct 31;350(1-2):22-8. PubMed PMID: 19683532.
- Zhang Y, Herbert BS, Rajashekhar G, Ingram DA, Yoder MC, Clauss M, Rehman J. Premature senescence of highly proliferative endothelial progenitor cells is induced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha via the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. FASEB J. 2009 May;23(5):1358-65. PubMed PMID: 19124561.
- Hu W, Criswell MH, Fong SL, Temm CJ, Rajashekhar G, Cornell TL, Clauss MA. Differences in the temporal expression of regulatory growth factors during choroidal neovascular development. Exp Eye Res. 2009 Jan;88(1):79-91. PubMed PMID: 19013152.
- Rajashekhar G, Traktuev DO, Roell WC, Johnstone BH, Merfeld-Clauss S, VanNatta B, Rosen ED, March KL, Clauss M. IFATS collection: Adipose stromal cell differentiation is reduced by endothelial cell contact and paracrine communication: role of canonical Wnt signaling. Stem Cells. 2008Oct;26(10):2674-81. PubMed PMID: 18669909.
- Rajashekhar G*, Grow M, Willuweit A, Patterson CE, Clauss M. Divergent and convergent effects on gene expression and function in acute versus chronic endothelial activation. Physiol Genomics. 2007 Sep 19;31(1):104-13. PubMed PMID: 17566077.* Co-corresponding author
- Hou Y, Plett PA, Ingram DA, Rajashekhar G, Orschell CM, Yoder MC, March KL, Clauss M. Endothelial-monocyte-activating polypeptide II induces migration of endothelial progenitor cells via the chemokine receptor CXCR3. Exp Hematol. 2006 Aug;34(8):1125-32. PubMed PMID: 16863920.
- Rajashekhar G, Willuweit A, Patterson CE, Sun P, Hilbig A, Breier G, Helisch A, Clauss M. Continuous endothelial cell activation increases angiogenesis: evidence for the direct role of endothelium linking angiogenesis and inflammation. J Vasc Res. 2006;43(2):193-204. PubMed PMID: 16410682.
- Rajashekhar G, Loganath A, Roy AC, Chong SS, Wong YC. Extracellular matrix-dependent regulation of angiogenin expression in human placenta. J Cell Biochem. 2005 Sep 1;96(1):36-46. PubMed PMID: 15988760.
- Rajashekhar G, Loganath A, Roy AC, Chong SS, Wong YC. Hypoxia up-regulated angiogenin and down-regulated vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 expression and secretion in human placental trophoblasts. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2005 Jul;12(5):310-9. PubMed PMID: 15979542.
- Aradhana R, Rajashekhar G, Roy AC, Annapoorna V, Dramusic V, Choolani M, Wong PC. Estrogen receptor alpha gene PvuII polymorphism and polycystic ovary syndrome. Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2004 Sep;33(5 Suppl):S89-90. PubMed PMID: 15651230.
- Rajashekhar G, Loganath A, Roy AC, Mongelli JM. Co-expression of Fas (APO-1, CD95)/Fas ligand by BeWo and NJG choriocarcinoma cell lines. Gynecol Oncol. 2003 Oct;91(1):101-11. PubMed PMID: 14529668.
- Rajashekhar G, Loganath A, Roy AC, Mongelli JM. Resistance to Fas-mediated cell death in BeWo and NJG choriocarcinoma cell lines: implications in immune privilege. Gynecol Oncol. 2003 Oct;91(1):89-100. PubMed PMID: 14529667.
- Rajashekhar G, Loganath A, Roy AC, Wong YC. Expression and secretion of the vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 in human placenta and its decrease in fetal growth restriction. J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2003 Sep;10(6):352-60. PubMed PMID: 12969778.
- Rajashekhar G, Loganath A, Roy AC, Wong YC. Over-expression and secretion of angiogenin in intrauterine growth retardation placenta. Mol Reprod Dev. 2003 Apr;64(4):397-404. PubMed PMID: 12589651.
- Rajashekhar G, Loganath A, Roy AC, Wong YC. Expression and localization of angiogenin in placenta: enhanced levels at term over first trimester villi. Mol Reprod Dev. 2002 Jun;62(2):159-66. PubMed PMID: 11984825.
- Kasinadhuni VRR, Rajashekhar G, Rajagopalan R, Sharma VM, Vamsi Krishna C, SairamP, Sai Prasad G, Sadhukhan S and Gangadhar Rao G. Antiulcer potential of Haldina cordifolia. Fitoterapia 1999; 70(1):93-95.
Conference papers (ORAL)
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar*, Breedge Callaghan, Chandrika Abburi, Pamela Rogers, Brian Samuels, Keith L. March. Therapeutic Potential of Human Adipose Stromal Cells in Retinopathy of Prematurity. International federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science Annual Meeting. New York, NY. November 21-24, 2013. Invited Oral Presentation.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar*, Chandrika Abburi, Timothy S. Kern, Andrea L. Jester, Alon Harris, Keith L March. Multipotent Adipose Stromal Cells: Novel Cell Therapy for Diabetic Retinopathy. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. Drug and gene delivery to the back of the eye: From bench to bedside. Aurora, Co. June 15-16, 2012. Drug/Gene Delivery Systems and Cell Therapies for the Eye. Invited Oral Presentation.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar*, Chandrika Abburi, Timothy S. Kern, Keith L March. Multipotent Adipose Stromal Cells in Diabetic Retinopathy. International federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science Annual Meeting. Quebec City, Canada. October 5-7, 2012. Invited Oral Presentation.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Abby Marin, Vidhya Rao, Sangly Srinivas, Uday Kompella, Matthias Clauss. Chronic endothelial activation in transgenic tie2-tmTNF mice triggers proliferative diabetic retinopathy. The Asia-ARVO 2011 & SNEC 21st Anniversary International Meeting. Singapore. January 20-23, 2011. Free paper #5, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. Oral Presentation.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Abby Marin, Vidhya Rao, Sangly Srinivas, Uday Kompella, Matthias Clauss. Chronic Endothelial Activation In Transgenic tie2-tmTNF Mice Triggers Diabetic Retinopathy. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2011, Fort Lauderdale, FL. May 1-5, 2011. Session 276, Diabetic Retinopathy. Oral Presentation.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Mahesh Shivanna, Clark Springs, Minati Satpathy, Richard S. Pinapati, Abby Renwick and Sangly P. Srinivas. Pleiotropic Influence of TNF-a on the Barrier Integrity of Corneal Endothelium: Role of MMP-9. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2010, Fort Lauderdale, FL. May 2-6, 2010. Session 440, Corneal Endothelium II. Oral Presentation.
- Dmitry Traktuev; Stephanie Merfeld-Clauss; Gangaraju Rajashekhar; Matthias Clauss; Keith March. Transforming Growth Factor-b2 Is a Key Factor Responsible For Preventing ASC Adipogenesis and Promoting a Pericytic Phenotype. International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS08), Toulouse, France. October 24 -26, 2008.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, William Roell, Stephanie Merfeld-Clauss, Keith March, Matthias Clauss. Adipogenesis of Adipose Stromal Cells is Reduced by Endothelial Cell Co-cultivation: Role for Wnt-signaling. Experimental Biology 2008: North American Vascular Biology Organization: Vascular Biology: Angiogenesis and Vascular Differentiation. Minisymposia. Session 49.11. April 4-9, 2008. Oral Presentation.
- Matthias Clauss, Gangaraju Rajashekhar, William Roell, Dmitry Traktuev, Bruce Van Natta, Brian Johnstone, Keith March. Adipogenic Differentiation of Adipose Stromal Cells is Repressed by Endothelial Cell Contact. International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS07), Indianapolis, Indiana. October 18 -20, 2007. Oral Presentation.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Carolyn Patterson, Matthias Clauss. Increased Angiogenic Activity in tmTNF-expressing Endothelial Cells Is Mediated by Matrix-Metallo Proteinases via p38 MAPK Pathway. Experimental Biology 2006: North American Vascular Biology Organization: Signal Transduction in the Vasculature. Minisymposia. Session 414. April 1-5, 2006. Oral Presentation.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Katherine Toomey, Matthias Clauss. Growth Factor Independent Angiogenesis: tmTNF Expressing Endothelial Cells as a Model of Inflammatory Angiogenesis. Vascular Biology and Medicine 2005 Meeting. NAVBO/SVBM., Chicago, June 16-19, 2005. Vascular Medicine, 10(2) p131. Oral Presentation.
- G.Rajashekhar, A.C.Roy. Genetic Variants of Follicle Stimulating Hormone Receptor in Women with Poor Response to Ovarian Stimulation. 11th World Congress of Gynecological Endocrinology, Florence, Italy, February 26-29, 2004.Gynecological Endocrinology, 18 Suppl 1, 2004. Oral presentation #SS49.
- A.Loganath, G.Rajashekhar, A.C.Roy, KL Peh, KJ Lim and YC Wong. Angiogenesis in the human placenta: pathological implications. 36th International Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Pathophysiology of Pregnancy (Organization Gestosis). 24-28 May 2004, Moscow, Russia.
- G.Rajashekhar, A.Loganath, A.C.Roy and Y.C.Wong. Localization, Expression and Secretion of Angiogenin in the Normal Human Placenta. First Singapore Angiogenesis/Anti-angiogenesis Symposium, Singapore, November 23-24, 2001. Oral presentation #7, p40.
Conference papers (posters)
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar*, Ahmed Ramadan, Chandrika Abburi, Raj Maturi, Alon Harris, Timothy Kern, Keith L. March. Paracrine Effects of Adipose Stromal Cell Conditioned Media on Retina: A Cell-free Therapy for Retinal Diseases. MSC 2013 - Adult Stem Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, Cleveland, OH. August 19-21, 2013. Presentation Number: 707 and Session: 3.
- Chandrika Abburi, Adam J Cantor, Sergio Caballero, Raj Maturi, Alon Harris, Timothy S. Kern, Maria B. Grant, Keith L. March, Gangaraju Rajashekhar. Therapeutic Efficacy of Adipose Stromal Cells to Protect the Retinal Neurons and Vasculature in Rat Retinal Ischemia-reperfusion Injury Model. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2013, Seattle, WA. May 5-9, 2013. Presentation Number: 4612 and Session: 437.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Chandrika Abburi, Raj Maturi, Alon Harris, Timothy Kern, Keith L. March. Paracrine Effects of Adipose Stromal Cell Conditioned Media on Retina: A Cell-free Therapy for Retinal Diseases. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2013, Seattle, WA. May 5-9, 2013. Presentation Number: 2702 and Session: 311.
- Breedge Callaghan, Chandrika Abburi, Pamela Rogers, Brian Samuels, Keith March, Gangaraju Rajashekhar. Vascular Stabilization with Adipose Stromal Cells in Retinopathy of Prematurity. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2013, Seattle, WA. May 5-9, 2013. Presentation Number: 588 and Session: 129.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Rachel Richardson, William Roell, Timothy Kern, Alon Harris, Keith March. Regenerative Therapeutic Potential of Adipose Stromal Cells in Early Stage Diabetic Retinopathy*. The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting 2012, Fort Lauderdale, FL. May 6-10, 2012. Program Number: 306 and Session: 110. *Chosen as “hot” topic.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Rachel Richardson, William Roell, Timothy Kern, Alon Harris, Keith March. Therapeutic Potential of Adipose Stromal Cells in Early Stage Diabetic Retinopathy. Complications of Diabetes: Mechanisms of Injury and Failure of Repair. Keystone Symposia. March 11 - 16, 2012 • Boston Park Plaza & Towers • Boston, Massachusetts. Poster Number 122.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar*, Rachel Richardson, William Roell, Todd Cook, Alon Harris, Keith March. Therapeutic potential of Adipose stromal cells in early stage Diabetic Retinopathy. Eugene and Marilyn Glick Eye Institute Vision Research Symposium. August 19, 2011 Indianapolis.
- Thomas Gianaris, Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Irina Petrache and Matthias Clauss. The CXCR3 Receptor Is Upregulated by Hypoxia and Mediates IP-10 and EMAP II--Induced Inhibition of Endothelial Wound Repair. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2011 Scientific Sessions. April 28-30, 2011, in Chicago, Illinois. Presentation Number P 642.
- Chul Kim, Samir Gupta, Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Brian Taylor, Nagesh Gollahalli, Abby Renwick, Matthias Clauss. Pentoxifylline Reduces Endothelial Activation Induced by Cytokine and HIV Derived Peptides: Implications for HIV-Associated Cardiovascular Disease. Experimental Biology 2010. April 24-28 Anaheim, CA. Abstract # 4497.
- Matthias Clauss; Gangaraju Rajashekhar; Chul Kim; Abby Renwick ; Brian Johnstone; Steffi Merfeld-Clauss; Keith March. Endothelial cells enhance osteogenic differentiation of adipose stromal cells: Role of Wnt-signaling. Stem Cell Differentiation and Dedifferentiation (B4). Keystone Symposia, Feb 15 - Feb 20, 2010, Keystone Resort, Keystone, Colorado. Poster#132.
- Nilmarie Ayala-Fontánez, Nagesh Gollahalli, Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Matthias Clauss. Increased cellular senescence associated beta galactosidase in tie2-tmTNF mouse model of chronic inflammation. Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). November 4 – 7, 2009. Phoenix, Arizona. Abstract#1455.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Abby Renwick, Todd Cook, Sasidhar Vemula, Rueben Kapur, Gregor Schürmann, Peter Wagner, Matthias Clauss. Anti-proliferative Properties of novel D-Peptide-VEGF-Antagonists: Plausible Role in Anti-angiogenic and Anti-tumor Formation. Experimental Biology 2009: North American Vascular Biology Organization: Vascular Biology: Vascular Molecular and Cell Biology. New Orleans, LO. April 18-21, 2009.
- Vineet Kumar; Malgorzata Maria Kamocka; Elliot D Rosen; Gangaraju Rajashekhar; Merfeld –Clauss Stephanie; Brian Johnstone; Keith L March. Procoagulant activity of adipose derived stromal cells: implications for intracoronary cell therapy and use of heparin and dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). American College of Cardiology, 58th Annual Scientific Session, Orlando, FL. March 29-31, 2009.
- Matthias Clauss, Yanmin Zhang, Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Jalees Rehman, In-Woo Park, Johnny He, Samir Gupta. Pentoxifylline Reduces Endothelial Inflammation Caused by HIV-Secreted Proteins, Inflammatory Mediators, and HIV-Infected T Cells. 16th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2009, Montreal, Canada. Feb 8-11, 2009.
- Ninotchka Sigua, Gangaraju Rajashekhar, H Fehrenbach, Krzysztof Kamocki, Jeremy Adamowicz, Jana Garrison, NI Rush, Robert Voswinckel, HL Twigg, III, S Sethi, Matthias Clauss, Irina Petrache. EMAP II is a Novel Cigarette Smoke-Induced Biomarker in Emphysema. American Thoracic Society International Conference. San diego, California. May 15-20, 2009.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Robert V Considine, Dmitry O Traktuev, Brian H Johnstone, Stephanie Merfeld-Clauss, Elliot D Rosen, Keith L March, Matthias Clauss. Specific Alterations of Wnt Pathway Member Expression in ASC Derived from Obese and Lean Donors. International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS08), Toulouse, France. October 24 -26, 2008.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, William Roell, Stephanie Merfeld-Clauss, Keith March, Matthias Clauss. Adipose Stromal Cell Differentiation is Reduced by Endothelial cell Co-cultivation: Role for Wnt-signaling. Molecular Control of Adipogenesis and Obesity (X3). Keystone Symposia, Feb 19 - Feb 24, 2008, Banff, AL, Canada. Poster#319.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar, Mark Suckow, Malgorzata Kamocka, Elliot Rosen, Matthias Clauss. The p38 MAPK signaling pathway contributes to tumor-induced angiogenesis. Experimental Biology 2007: North American Vascular Biology Organization: Vascular Biology: Vascular Molecular and Cell Biology.The Faseb Journal, 21(6):A747.
- Gangaraju Rajashekhar and Matthias Clauss. Continuous activation of endothelium with tmTNF contributes to pathological or inflammatory angiogenesis. 24th European Conference on Microcirculation. Late Breaking Abstract PTU 11. Amsterdam, Aug 30-Sept 2, 2006. JVR/ESM Prize 2006 Awardee.
- G.Rajashekhar, A.Loganath, A.C.Roy and JM Mongelli. Resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis in Gestational Trophoblastic Disease: Implications for Immune-privilege. Molecular Mechanisms of Apoptosis, Keystone Symposium, Banff, Alberta, Canada. February 8-11, 2003. Abstract # 315: Session 3.
- G.Rajashekhar, A.Loganath, A.C.Roy, Y.C.Wong. Enhanced Secretion and Expression of Angiogenin by Intrauterine Growth Retarded Placenta. 42nd Annual Meeting, The American Society for Cell Biology, San Francisco, CA, USA, December 14-18, 2002. Mol Biol Cell 2002; 13 Suppl: A2996.
- G.Rajashekhar, A.Loganath, A.C.Roy and M. Mongelli. Apoptosis-regulating Proteins in Human Trophoblastic Choriocarcinoma Cell lines: Implications for Immune-privilege. 41st Annual Meeting, The American Society for Cell Biology, Washington DC, USA, December 8-12, 2001. Mol Biol Cell 2001; 12 Suppl: A130.
- J.Moses Babu, R.Vasu Dev, G.Om Reddy, Y.Nageswar Rao, V.M.Sarma, P.Sairam, G.Rajashekhar, K.V.Raja Rao and M.Prem Kumar. Alsinoidin-A, Structure of new resin glycoside from Evolvulus alsinoides linn., - A proton pump inhibitor. XXIV International Symposium on Macrocyclic Chemistry (ISMC'99). 18-23 July 1999, Barcelona, Spain.
Ahmed Gomaa, MBBch, Ph.D
Dr. Gomaa is a graduate of the School of Medicine Suez Cana University, Ismailia, Egypt. He received his Ph.D. in fetal hematopoiesis in Kumamto University, Japan and first postdoc fellowiship at Cincinnati Children`s hospital Medical Center. In the current project, Dr. Gomaa explores the role for adipose stromal cells in diabetic retinopathy with a long-term goal to translate this research into clinical trials in near future. A detailed CV with past accomplishments can be found at this link
Alexandra Vayl, BS
Alexandra (Sasha) graduated with a Chemistry degree in 2010 from IUPUI and has vast experience in cell and molecular biology to lab management skills. She is the lab manager for the Gangaraju laboratory and the go getter.
Yaqian Duan, MD, MS
IBMG Rotation student
Yaqian graduated with a MD degree in 2009 fromChina and subsequrently did her Master of Science in Internal Medicine. Yaqian had done research focusing on the cardiovascular complications of diabetes for more than 3 years and feel quite interested in teh laboratory.
Description: Judith is currently in her final year of her MSc degree in Biomedical Science in the University of Ulster, Ireland. She is delighted to have the oppurtunity to complete an internship at IUPUI in the Ophthalmology department, where she will be investigating the role of EMAPII in mediating retinal endothelial apoptosis. Judith is very excited to work on this project and hopes to complete further study in this field after the internship
Breedge Callaghan, B.Sc
Exchange student, University of Ulster.
Breedge is currently in her finally year of her MSc degree in Biomedical Science in the University of Ulster, Ireland and is undertaking an internship at IUPUI in Ophthalmology department. She is delighted to be investigating the role of adipose stem cells in oxygen induced retinopathy model. Breedge hopes to continue her studies in stem cell research after completion of her internship.
Colin Watson graduated from North Central High School, Indiana and recently been accepted to IU Arts & Sciences as an undergraduate. Colin with a GPA of 3.92 wishes to pursue PhD program to become a scientist following the foot steps of his father, an Eli Lilly scientist. Colin will assit our laboratory to identify the molecular mechanisms of EMAPII protein in diabetic retinopathy. In particular, Colin is expected to familiarize working in collaboration with other scientists in the group to conceive and perform experiments as a corner stone to realize his dreams. Colin is being sponsored by Indianapolis Project Seed http://www.indyprojectseed.org/ Project SEED is an organization which allows high school students to be involved in research at a college level. Founded in 1968, Project SEED has continued to provide opportunities to high school students.
Chandrika Abburi, PhD.
Jenny Wang, MA
Summer Research Fellow
Adam Cantor, BS
December 31, 1969
Lab annual dinner on March 6, 2014. From L to R: Dilip Dey, Ahmed Gomaa, Sasha Vayl, Gangaraju and Yaqian Duan
January 9, 2014
Dr. Gangaraju's work published.
July 27, 2013
Pictured from Left to right: Dr. Gangaraju, Colin Watson, Breedge Callaghan, Judith Quigley and Ahmed Gomaa
June 5, 2013
Dr. Gangaraju receives funding from Ralph W and Grace M Showalter Research Trust funding
Diabetic complications of the eye pose a threat to normal quality of life in patients suffering from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes and present a huge burden on society due to high medical costs. Through the generous support from Grace M. Showalter Trust funding, Dr. Gangaraju laboratory propose to test the hypothesis that endothelial monocyte activating polypeptide II (EMAPII), a novel protein excessively found only in diabetic eyes is a key factor in mediating retinal endothelial apoptosis and can serve as a potential therapeutic target in patients with diabetic retinopathy. The proposal outlines a series of experiments that rely on standard cellular and molecular approaches in cultured retinal endothelial cells and diabetic rats to test this hypothesis. Identification of targets which have the potential to offer therapeutic intervention to prevent or reduce vision loss are urgently needed to treat diabetic complications of the eye, Dr. Gangaraju said. He hopes that Showalter funding will place him in the forefront to his long-term goal of advancing clinical management of diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in the Western world.
May 30, 2013
Dr. Gangaraju honored with Cyrptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (CMMRF) award
Rajashekhar Gangaraju, Ph.D., has been honored with CMMRF award for his distinguished service in the field of Diabetic Retinopathy which was originally funded by seed money from Knights Templar of Wisconsin with a matching fund from CMMRF through ICVBM Signature Center award. Dr. Gangaraju was presented with a coat pin marking the occassion. Mrs. Heidi and Mr. Lyle Farrell who represent the masonic Knights Templar of Wisconsin are seen along with Dr. Keith March.
April 03, 2013
Dr. Gangaraju selected for grant review panel
Rajashekhar Gangaraju, Ph.D., has been accepted for participation in the Early Career Reviewer (ECR) program at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), National Institute of Health (www.csr.nih.gov/ECR). The ECR program has been developed to train qualified and emerging research scientists without prior CSR review experience to become effective reviewers by exposing them to peer review. To qualify for the ECR Program one must be a full-time faculty member with an evidence of an active independent program of research with recent senior authored research publications in peer-reviewed journals and have not served on a CSR study section previously.
Dr. Gangaraju receives his first National Health Institute's investigator intiated grant
For more information see http://iueye.iu.edu/news-room1/nih-funding-puts-researchers-on-path-to-restoring-vision-loss-fr/
IU researcher gets $50K from KT Eye Foundation
INDIANAPOLIS— A highlight of the annual Grand Commander’s Banquet on April 26, 2012 was the
presentation to Dr. Rajashekhar Gangaraju, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine and the Glick Eye Institute at Indiana University, of a check for $50,000 as a research grant from the Knights
Templar Eye Foundation. SK Billy Koon II, Grand Master of the Grand Encampment Knights Templar of the United States of America, made the presentation in his capacity as president of the Eye Foundation.
Gangaraju, who earned his doctor of philosophy degree from the National University of Singapore,
has titled his project, “Vascular Stabilization with Adipose Stromal Cells in Retinopathy of
“I’m extremely honored,” Gangaraju said of receiving the grant. “We are doing research to develop stem cell treatment of blindness in children. We hope to be able to give the gift of sight.”
Nearly 50 percent of low-birth-weight infants, almost 8 million cases per year, develop problems with their retinas, said Pam Rogers, pre-clinical research coordinator for the IU center. The research is an attempt to develop therapeutics for them. The grant process began with a matching grant of $5,000 from the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation, making this the first time two Masonic medical foundations have supported the same project, Rogers said.
The Gangaraju Lab is associated with a number of different research institutes and graduate programs at IUPUI. You can learn more about these programs by following the links listed below.