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Nawajes Mandal, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Ophthalmology
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology

Hamilton Eye Institute
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
930 Madison Ave, Ste 718
Memphis, TN 38163
Tel: 901.448.7740
Fax: 901.448.5028
Email: Nawajes Mandal


  • PhD Institution: Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Division of Biochemistry, New Delhi, India
  • Postdoctoral: University of Michigan, Department of Ophthalmology

Research Interests

Sphingolipid (lipid) metabolism and signaling in the retina and other ocular diseases; Sphingolipids in human diabetes, inflammation and autoimmune diseases; Development of therapeutics targeting sphingolipid pathways for eye diseases.

We discovered many roles of sphingolipids in the eye including the specific balance of sphingolipid metabolite ceramide and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) required for proper functioning of the retinal photoreceptors. We also determined that S1P participates in the cellular junctional complexes and barrier formation in photoreceptor and RPE cells. S1P plays a role in vascular maturation and our research has provided important insights into its role in ocular vascular diseases such as wet-AMD, retinopathy of pre-maturity (ROP), and corneal neovascularization. S1P is also involved in tissue fibrosis; another area of our research focus is, understanding the role of S1P and its signaling in corneal wound healing and fibrosis.

Representative Publications

  • Mondal K, Mandal N. Role of Bioactive Sphingolipids in Inflammation and Eye Diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1161:149-167. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-21735-8_14. PubMed PMID: 31562629.
  • Grambergs R, Mondal K, Mandal N. Inflammatory Ocular Diseases and Sphingolipid Signaling. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1159:139-152. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-21162-2_8. Review. PubMed PMID: 31502203.
  • Qi H, Cole J 2nd, Grambergs RC, Gillenwater JR, Mondal K, Khanam S, Dutta S, Stiles M, Proia RL, Allegood J, Mandal N. Sphingosine Kinase 2 Phosphorylation of FTY720 is Unnecessary for Prevention of Light-Induced Retinal Damage. Sci Rep. 2019 May 23;9(1):7771. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-44047-z. PubMed PMID: 31123291; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6533254.
  • Wilkerson JL, Stiles MA, Gurley JM, Grambergs RC, Gu X, Elliott MH, Proia RL, Mandal NA. Sphingosine Kinase-1 Is Essential for Maintaining External/Outer Limiting Membrane and Associated Adherens Junctions in the Aging Retina. Mol Neurobiol. 2019 Oct;56(10):7188-7207. doi: 10.1007/s12035-019-1599-x. Epub 2019 Apr 17. PubMed PMID: 30997640.
  • Wilmott LA, Grambergs RC, Allegood JC, Lyons TJ, Mandal N. Analysis of sphingolipid composition in human vitreous from control and diabetic individuals. J Diabetes Complications. 2019 Mar;33(3):195-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2018.12.005. Epub 2018 Dec 14. PubMed PMID: 30630661; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6368445.
  • Porter H, Qi H, Prabhu N, Grambergs R, McRae J, Hopiavuori B, Mandal N. Characterizing Sphingosine Kinases and Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Receptors in the Mammalian Eye and Retina. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Dec 5;19(12). pii: E3885. doi: 10.3390/ijms19123885. PubMed PMID: 30563056; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6321283.

View more references (pubmed link)

May 26, 2022