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Rajashekhar Gangaraju, PhD

Associate Professor
Anatomy and Neurobiology
The University of Tennessee
Health Science Center 

The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
930 Madison Building
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: 901.448.2721
Email: Rajashekhar Gangaraju


  • PhD Institute: National University of Singapore, School of Medicine, Molecular Biology
  • Postdoctoral: Indiana University School of Medicine, Vascular Biology

Research Interests

My research program’s goal is to employ adult stem cells derived from adipose tissue for the treatment of retinal neuro-vascular 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 (DR) and Age-related macular degeneration. By training, I am a cell biologist with experience in Physiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Pharmacology with special interest in vascular biology. 

Representative Publications 

  • Jha KA, Pentecost M, Lenin R, Gentry J, Klaic L, Del Mar N, Reiner A, Yang CH, Pfeffer LM, Sohl N, Gangaraju R. TSG-6 in conditioned media from adipose mesenchymal stem cells protects against visual deficits in mild traumatic brain injury model through neurovascular modulation. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2019 Nov 5;10(1):318. doi: 10.1186/s13287-019-1436-1. PubMed PMID: 31690344; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6833275.
  • Gaddam S, Periasamy R, Gangaraju R. Adult Stem Cell Therapeutics in Diabetic Retinopathy. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Sep 30;20(19). pii: E4876. doi: 10.3390/ijms20194876. Review. PubMed PMID: 31575089; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6801872.
  • Lenin R, Nagy PG, Jha KA, Gangaraju R. GRP78 translocation to the cell surface and O-GlcNAcylation of VE-Cadherin contribute to ER stress-mediated endothelial permeability. Sci Rep. 2019 Jul 25;9(1):10783. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-47246-w. PubMed PMID: 31346222; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6658495.
  • Periasamy R, Elshaer SL, Gangaraju R. CD140b (PDGFRβ) signaling in adipose-derived stem cells mediates angiogenic behavior of retinal endothelial cells. Regen Eng Transl Med. 2019 Mar;5(1):1-9. doi: 10.1007/s40883-018-0068-9. Epub 2018 Jun 29. PubMed PMID: 30976657; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6453132.
  • Lenin R, Thomas SM, Gangaraju R. Endothelial Activation and Oxidative Stress in Neurovascular Defects of the Retina. Curr Pharm Des. 2018;24(40):4742-4754. doi: 10.2174/1381612825666190115122622. Review. PubMed PMID: 30644342.
  • Elshaer SL, Evans W, Pentecost M, Lenin R, Periasamy R, Jha KA, Alli S, Gentry J, Thomas SM, Sohl N, Gangaraju R. Adipose stem cells and their paracrine factors are therapeutic for early retinal complications of diabetes in the Ins2(Akita) mouse. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2018 Nov 21;9(1):322. doi: 10.1186/s13287-018-1059-y. PubMed PMID: 30463601; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6249931.

View more references (pubmed link)

Aug 24, 2023