Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Nitin Puri, M.D., Ph.D.



Associate Professor, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

Basic Science Educator & Researcher

Phone: 419-383-5307
Fax: 419-383-2871






Education and Training:

  • M.B.B.S (M.D.) Bachelor in Medicine, Bachelor in Surgery; Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India; 2000
  • Master of Surgery (Residency) Shyam Shah Medical College; Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, India Department of General Surgery, General Surgery; 2000-2003
  • Post-residency Fellowship in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery; Delhi Heart and Lung Institute, New Delhi, India; Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery 2003-2004
  • Graduate Student Research Associate, Department of Pharmacology New York Medical College Valhalla NY, (Advisor: Alberto Nasjletti, M.D.). 2005-2010
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD); Biomedical Sciences; Dept. of Pharmacology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY; 2005-2010
  • Postdoctoral fellow, The University of Toledo College of Medicine, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology,  (Advisor: Dr. Nader G. Abraham, Professor and Chair, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, UT Health Science Campus). 2010-2011


2015-2017: Program Director, MSBS-Medical Sciences Program, The University of Toledo College of Medicine
2011-present: Assistant Professor, The University of Toledo College of Medicine, Department of Physiology & Pharmacology.
2004-2005: Senior Resident Surgeon, B.J.R.M Hospital, Department of Surgery, Jahangirpur B Block, New Delhi, India.

Research Interests:

My research interest lies in the investigations of the (dys)functional regulation of the cardio-vascular, renal and metabolic systems.

During my graduate training, I was very interested in cellular redox mechanisms and their role in the regulation of cardiovascular function. I examined the interplay of the heme-heme oxygenase system, a crucial cellular antioxidant pathway, with reactive species and gases including, carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, and hydrogen peroxide. I uncovered a novel regulatory pathway that governs the dual vascular effects hydrogen peroxide on the renal vasculature. We showed that broad-spectrum antioxidants can condition the renal vascular response to hydrogen peroxide, which can cause vasodilation via increased heme oxygenase activity and carbon monoxide production. In the absence of such conditioning, hydrogen peroxide interferes with heme oxygenase activity and causes thromboxane-induced vasoconstriction.

I further pursued my interests in redox biology and heme-heme oxygenase system, in the regulation of cardio-metabolic systems, during my postdoctoral fellowship and early years as a junior faculty. My interests expanded to the study of the human mesenchymal cells, and their regulation by oxidative stress. I published a number of manuscripts, with my co-authors, on the effects of reactive oxygen species on the adipogenic potential of human MSCs. We demonstrated the protective role of the heme-heme oxygenase system in this setting and established alternate therapeutic options for obesity.

During the past 3 years, I have been deeply involved in a number of diverse projects with my collaborators. In conjunction with Dr. Kumar, I have expanded my research endeavors to include transcriptional regulation of genes of the renin-angiotensin-system (RAS) with implications for vascular function and blood pressure regulation. I am focused on the physiological effects of haplotype-dependent regulation of the RAS axis and my work includes the use of novel techniques like, the wire myograph, telemetric implantations, and generation and study of humanized transgenic mice. We have uncovered gene-regulatory pathways that can alter the transcription of gene like angiotensinogen and aldosterone synthase under various pathophysiological conditions including, aging and obesity. We have shown that these effects are haplotype-dependent and are modulated by previously unknown mechanisms including, the intronic regulation of gene-expression. These studies bring us one-step closer to the goal of personalized medicine by identifying “at risk” individuals for the devolvement of hypertension and metabolic syndrome. 

Additionally, in collaboration with Dr. Sodhi, I am involved in the study of redox mediators in obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We study the interplay of the heme-heme oxygenase system and the ubiquitous NAD-dependent deacetylase, Sirtuin1, in the pathophysiology of NAFLD. Importantly, we are also exploring the role of the Na/K-ATPase-Src amplification loop in hepatocyte signaling and the development of the NAFLD. 

I am also developing a project in collaboration with Drs. Joe and Sindhwani (UTCOMLS) for studying the human microbiota in chronic urological conditions including, chronic prostatitis and pelvic pain.

My students and I and are currently collecting data for a comparative analysis of post baccalaureate masters’ programs for beneficial outcomes in medical careers. We hope to finish and publish our findings by the year-end.


2017:  Outstanding Teacher Award, University of Toledo.
2017:  Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence in the Basic Science category, University of Toledo.
2016:  Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo.
2012:  Outstanding oral presentation (second place) in Molecular and Genetic Basis of Hypertension at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting, Washington D.C. Travel award granted.
2011:  Outstanding poster award at the 13th International Winter Eicosanoids Conference, Baltimore, MD.
2010:  Martha Lucas Pate, Ph.D., Memorial Award, "In recognition of academic excellence and leadership in social and humane concerns in medicine, science or health." The Trustees of New York Medical College, New York, NY.
2009: First Prize for oral presentation at the Pharmacology Graduate Student Research Forum, New York Medical College, New York, NY.
2009: Second Prize for oral presentation at the 21st Graduate Student Research Forum, New York Medical College, New York, NY.

University of Toledo Committees

Conducting Medical School Interviews for the COMLS
Faculty Volunteer

Preclinical Curriculum Committee, COMLS

CVMD/MOME Admissions Committee, COMLS Graduate Studies

Curriculum Evaluation Committee, COMLS

Masters in Science and Biomedical Sciences-Medical Science Admissions, COMLS

COMLS Medical School Curriculum Task Force: Cardiopulmonary

COMLS Medical School Curriculum Task Force: Renal

Academic Enrichment Center-Director Search Committee

Cardiopulmonary-Renal Thread Committee for the Medical School Curriculum, COMLS
Chair/Thread Director

COMLS Curriculum Steering committee


Please click here for a complete list of Dr. Puri's publications.





Last Updated: 9/22/17