Department of Physiology and Pharmacology


Xue Mei is the recipient of a travel award from the University of Mississippi Medical Center Cardio-Renal Research Center (CRRC) Graduate Student Research Symposium being held in October. Besides all expenses covered, Mei is to receive a monetary award! Congratulations!

One of our recent manuscripts on a single microbiota being beneficial for kidney disease has been accepted for publication in Circulation Research (Impact factor 17.36). Faecalibacterium prausnitzii attenuates CKD via butyrate-renal GPR43 axis 
Hong-Bao Li1,*,+, Meng-Lu Xu2,+, Xu-Dong Xu3, +, Yu-Yan Tang3,+,Hong-Li Jiang4, Lu Li2,Wen-Jie Xia1,Nan Cui5, Juan Bai6, Zhi-Ming Dai7, Bei Han8, Ying Li1, Bo Peng1, Yuan-Yuan Dong1, Sachin Aryal9, Ishan Manandhar9, Mahmoud Ali Eladawi10, Rammohan Shukla10, Yu-Ming Kang1*, Bina Joe9,*, Tao Yang9,*

Dr. Jennifer Hill's Research on "How Diabetes Impacts Fertility" was recently highlighted in the UT News. Congrats!

Watch her interview with WTOL here:


Hats off to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti and Ms. Blair Mell!

Dr. Chakravarti is the recipient of the UTCOMLS Dean’s Award for New Investigator Research Excellence for 2022 and Blair received the UTCOMLS Dean’s Award for Staff Impact for 2022.

There will be a Faculty and Staff Recognition Dinner on Wednesday, November 9th at the Belmont Country Club and a monetary award; their pictures will hang on the honoree wall located on the first floor of Mulford Library.


We take great pleasure in sharing the excellent news that Dr. Beng San Yeoh (first author) and Dr. Matam Vijay Kumar, along with their lab members and both national and international collaborators have published in the journal Gastroenterology, the impact factor of which is 33.8.

In a nutshell, the study has uncovered a major vascular defect in a widely used experimental model in biomedical research (BL6 mice) as the KEY REASON for a subset of these mice to develop liver cancer in response to a dietary soluble fiber (inulin).  Besides this vascular discovery, the study recommends screening of  BL6 mice for high serum bile acids to identify ones with the newly discovered vascular defect and exclude them from experiments as they are major outliers for nutritional, metabolic, and immunologic studies.

Title: Enterohepatic shunt-driven cholemia predisposes to liver cancer
First author: Beng San Yeoh
Corresponding author: Matam Vijay-Kumar
Authors: Beng San Yeoh, Piu Saha, Rachel M. Golonka, Jun Zou, Jessica L. Petrick, Ahmed A.
Abokor, Xia Xiao4, Venugopal R. Bovilla, Alexis C.A. Bretin, Jesús Rivera-Esteban, Dominick
Parisi, Andrea A. Florio, Stephanie J. Weinstein, Demetrius Albanes, Gordon J. Freeman,
Amira F. Gohara, Andreea Ciudin, Juan M. Pericàs, Bina Joe, Robert F. Schwabe, Katherine
A. McGlynn, Andrew T. Gewirtz, and Matam Vijay-Kumar
Impact Factor: 33.8

The UT Health Science Campus Retirees Association (UTRA) Scholarship Fund grants one $2000 or two $1000 scholarships for students in the COMLS Doctor of Philosophy Degree programs in the Biomedical Sciences and Master of Science in Biomedical Science degree programs; this year the committee chose Ms. Rachel Golonka, mentee of Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar, as this year's UTRA Scholarship Awardee.

A very hearty congratulations to you, Rachel!

Congratulations to Dr. Tao Yang! The editorial board of Hypertension has invited him to serve another two years and he has accepted. His term will expire December 31, 2024.

Congratulations to Leah Stevenson! Leah is a trainee from Dr. Bina Joe's lab and today she successfully defended her thesis, "Investigation of the Gut Microbiome using Machine Learning as a diagnostic aid for Food Allergies". Leah started at UT in the Fall of 2017 and graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science and a minor in Chemistry in Spring 2021. She participated in the Pipeline program here which allowed her to take part of her master’s curriculum in her senior year of her undergrad degree. After she graduates, she will be working at ProMedica as an Investigator Initiated Research Project Coordinator working with General Surgeons.

Congratulations to Dr. Bina Joe! The editorial board of Hypertension has invited her to serve another two years and she has accepted. Her term will expire December 31, 2024. 

Congratulations on successfully defending your thesis and good luck on your new job at ProMedica! Dr. Charles Thodeti attended Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Sessions 2022 and gave an oral presentation entitled, “Endothelial TRPV4 Mechanotransduction in Cardiac Hypertrophy” in the Asian Cardiovascular Symposium/South Asian Heart Research/BCVS-2022 which was held July 24-28, 2022, at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Charles Thodeti attended Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Scientific Sessions 2022 and gave an oral presentation entitled, “Endothelial TRPV4 Mechanotransduction in Cardiac Hypertrophy” in the Asian Cardiovascular Symposium/South Asian Heart Research/BCVS-2022 which was held July 24-28, 2022, at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, IL. Congratulations to Jonathan Le, a MSBS-MS research trainee in Dr. Koch’s lab, on acceptance to UToledo’s Medical School. Well done!

Congratulations to Nicholas Kesler from Dr. Koch’s lab! Nick was awarded a 2022 Undergraduate Summer Research Scholarship from the University of Toledo Office of Undergraduate Research for his project titled, “Rat models selectively bred for low and high exercise capacity and their utility to test pro-longevity agents.”

Dr. Tao Yang recently had a review article, "Resistance to Antihypertensive Drugs - Is Gut Microbiota the Missing Link?" accepted for publication in Hypertension. Congrats!

Kudos to Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar and Dr. Piu Saha and team! Their manuscript, "Selective Immunoglobulin A Deficiency in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats with Gut Dysbiosis" has been accepted for publication to Hypertension

Congratulations to Xue Mei and team! Their article has been selected for APSselect,  a collection from APS showcasing some of the best recently published articles in physiological research. Well done!

Congratulations to Xue Mei! Mei is one of Dr. Bina Joe's trainees and her work was published in The Blade.

See here for full article: 
UT researchers discover link between mouth, skin bacteria and regulation of blood pressure | The Blade (

Dr. Chakravarti has been invited to speak at the 7th International Conference on Vaccines Research & Development to be held in Boston on 7-9th November 2022. Congrats!

See more about the conference here:

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! She has received an AAI Career in Immunology Fellowship. This fellowship will support her post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Rathinam Ayyasamy, for a year.

Dr. Bina Joe has been elected as the President of the Association of Medical School Pharmacology Chairs (AMSPC). This organization is comprised of members that are current and emeritus chairs of medical school pharmacology departments in Canada and the U.S. Dr. Joe was in Charlottesville, VA as an invited speaker of the 2022 APS/ASN Control of Renal Function in Health and Disease conference. The session she took part of is titled, "New sensing & signaling pathways in the control of renal function."

For more information about this meeting please visit the site listed here:
Control of Renal Function in Health and Disease Conference | American Physiological Society ( to Dr. Charles Thodeti on the exciting news that his proposal, "Endothelial Autophagy in Cardiac Remodeling" submitted to AHA-Transformational Project Award (TPA) has received 1.82% and will be funded. Well done!

Several of our faculty, postdocs and students participated in the 48th annual Pharmacology Colloquium that was hosted by Wayne State University's School of Medicine on June 24.

The day-long scientific meeting consisting of faculty, post-doctoral students and graduate students from WSU, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and the University of Toledo rotates annually among the four participating universities.

We are so proud to announce that Rachel Golonka, trainee of Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar, won first place in podium presentations for her presentation on “Inducing Gut Microbiota Dysbiosis Exacerbates Liver Cancer in FXR Deficient Mice.”

We are extremely proud of ALL of our participants who gave very impressive presentations. You all did an amazing job! Below are some photos of the event taken by several students that attended.

Congrats to Erik Southard! He is a trainee of Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri and has been accepted to UT's medical school. Well done!

Congrats to Dr. Lauren Koch and her collaborator! They published an opinion article in the APS journal,  Function titled, "Biology: Motion is Function." The paper connects ideas for quantum biology that provide a platform for exploring reductionism at the atomic level and evolution as a feature of Maximum Entropy Production.

Congrats to Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar and Dr. Beng San Yeoh! Their manuscript was accepted for publication in the journal of Science Immunology.

Activation of CD81+ skin ILC2s by cold-sensing TRPM8+ neuron-derived signals maintains cutaneous thermal homeostasis.
Xu M, Li C, Yang J, Ye A, Yan L, Yeoh BS, Shi L, Kim YS, Kang J, Vijay-Kumar M, Xiong N.
Sci Immunol. 2022 Jun 24;7(72):eabe0584. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.abe0584. Epub 2022 Jun 17.
PMID: 35714201

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! She received the 2022 Presidents’ Award For Excellence in Creative and Scholarly Activity.

Congratulations to Dr. John Turner and team! Their article was chosen for APS Select - a collection from the American Physiological Society  that showcases some of the best recently published articles. Well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Thodeti! He was invited for service as the standing member of the NIH-study section: BBHV (Basic Biology of Blood, Heart, and Vasculature/); 2022-2026.

Dr. Tao Yang was featured in a recent article in the UT News. The article highlights his work regarding gut bacteria that can reduce the effectiveness of certain blood pressure drugs. Congrats!

Read the full article here: Study Finds Gut Bacteria Can Make Blood Pressure Medication Less Effective | UToledo News

Congratulations to the third year Medical Student, Mr. Joshua Kim, who has received the competitive AΩA 2022 Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship to continue his research work in Dr. Ritu Chakravarti’s laboratory. Joshua has been involved in studying the 14-3-3z role in inflammatory arthritis for the last 3 years. He will receive $5,000 as a fellowship and $1000 to present his work at a national conference. We are proud of you, Joshua!

Congratulations to Xue Mei! Her work on skin microbiota was highlighted by Science Mission. Enjoy the content here:
Skin Microbiota Are Associated with Hypertension in Rats – Science Mission

Move over-Gut Microbiota! A one-of-a-kind study on hypertension by Xue Mei, a graduate student in Dr.Joe's lab, has earned a lot of attention. Check out the press release on an article she first authored. Congrats Mei! Move Over, Gut Microbiota—Skin and Mouth Bacteria May Help Regulate Blood Pressure Too | American Physiological Society (

We are pleased to share this article about the creation of a unique high school research course and UT researchers' roles in it. The inside cover (pictured) tells the beginning of the story.  Although not pictured, the continued work of several of our trainees and faculty to keep up this excellent outreach activity over the years is much appreciated. See the link for the entire edition of Ursidae: Research at Ottawa Hills, Issue 1: Volume 1.  2022 Ursidae Issue 1 Vol 1.pdf - Google Drive

Congratulations to Ms. Leah Stevenson! She is a student in the Joe lab who graduated May 20th with a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences. (Pictured here with Sachin Aryal and Ishan Manandhar). Her dissertation work is focused on identifying gut microbiota signatures in food allergies. Stay tuned for information on her upcoming defense.

Dr. Piu Saha and Mr. Ahmed Abokor attended the AAI Annual Meeting – IMMUNOLOGY2022 – held May 6-10, in Portland, Oregon. Ahmed, a trainee of Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar, was a recipient of a 2022 AAI Minority Scientist Travel Award.  He received a travel grant for registration and travel expenses associated with attending the conference. Congratulations!

Ms. Emma Elizabeth Sabu Kattuman (a first year PhD student in Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri’s lab) and Ms. Kesha Delal (a first year PhD student in Dr. Thodeti’s lab) have accepted new roles as the social media managers of the Department. These two young scientists will serve as influencers of our science on the social media platform. Thank you Emma and Kesha for your service to our Department.

Dr. Charles Thodeti has been invited to speak at the 31st Ion Channels Meeting organized by French Ion channels Association (Association Canaux Ioniques) in the Domaine Le Lazaret, Sete, France from September 11-14, 2022.  Association Canaux Ioniques has been organizing this meeting since 1989 which gathers international scientific community working on all aspects of ion channels. Dr. Thodeti will be presenting his work on TRPV4 channels in Tumor Angiogenesis. Congrats!

Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Hill and team! Their manuscript, "Spexin modulates molecular thermogenic profile of adipose tissue and thermoregulatory behaviors in female C57BL/6 mice." has been accepted for  publication to Hormone and Behavior.

Shermel B. Sherman, Mitchell Harberson, Rebecca Rashleigh, Niraj Gupta, Riley Powers, Ramya Talla, Ashima Thusu, Jennifer W. Hill
Thermoregulation is the physiological process by which an animal regulates body temperature in response to its environment. It is known that galanin, a neuropeptide widely distributed throughout the central nervous system and secreted by the gut, plays a role in thermoregulatory behaviors and metabolism. We tested the ability of the novel neuropeptide spexin, which shares sequence homology to galanin, to regulate these functions in female mice. Supraphysiological levels of spexin in C57BL/6 mice did not lead to weight loss after 50 days of treatment. Behavioral analysis of long-term spexin treatment showed it decreased anxiety and increased thermoregulatory nest building, which was not observed when mice were housed at thermoneutral temperatures. Treatment also disrupted the thermogenic profile of brown and white adipose tissue, decreasing mRNA expression of Ucp1 in BAT and immunodetection of β3-adrenergic receptors in gWAT. Our results reveal novel functions for spexin as a modulator of thermoregulatory behaviors and adipose tissue metabolism.

Dr. John Turner is a co-author of the following journal paper, which is currently IN PRESS in the research journal Wildlife Research. Congrats!
Grams K, Rutberg AT,  Turner JW.  'Reduction in growth rates of wild horse populations treated with the controlled-release immunocontraceptive PZP-22 in the western United States'.
The Back Story:   Human expansion has compressed wildlife space globally.  Many species have depleted their food/water by continued reproduction in limited habitat.  Removal or killing have been the historical (and in many locations, current) means of population control.  For more than 30 years wildlife contraception has been researched as a more humane means of controlling animal numbers. Our initial research team published the first use of  Immunocontraception in wildlife (Kirkpatrick, Liu and Turner, 1990).  It is presently a favored path for fertility control in numerous wild species, as it is humane, effective and can be delivered remotely.  Our development of controlled-release technology for this vaccine (Turner et al, 2008) has enabled multi-year efficacy with a single injection.  One large target species for population control is free-roaming wild horses on public lands.  In the western USA there are presently >90,000.  Our present research paper is the FIRST REPORT of  population-level growth-rate reduction via controlled-release immunocontraception in wild horses.

Dr. Bina Joe has been selected as the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology (ACDP) 2022 Guyton Award Lecturer, based on her contributions to the field of Physiology. The lecture will be in Marathon Key, FL where she will receive an honorarium and plaque. Congrats!

Congratulations to Xue Mei on her first first-authored publication from the Joe Lab!
Title: Beyond the Gastrointestinal Tract: Oral and sex-Specific Skin Microbiota Are Associated With Hypertension in Rats With Genetic Disparities
Journal: Physiological Genomics
Impact factor: 3.107
Authors: Xue Mei, Blair Mell, Xi Cheng, Ji-Youn Yeo, Tao Yang, Nathaline Chiu, Bina Joe

A collaborated work from the University of Toledo (Department of Physiology and Pharmacology College of Medicine, Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences) and the University of Florida.  
Title: Identification of a gut commensal that compromises the blood pressure-lowering effect of ester angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors
Journal: Hypertension
Impact factor: 10.19
Authors: Tao Yang, Xue Mei, Ethel Tackie-Yarboi, Millicent Tambari Akere, Jun Kyoung, Blair Mell, Ji-Youn Yeo, Xi Cheng, Jasenka Zubcevic, Elaine M. Richards, Carl J. Pepine, Mohan K. Raizada, Isaac T. Schiefer, Bina Joe

Congratulations, Xue Mei! Her abstract to the Canadian Hypertension Congress (CHC) has been selected for oral presentation. Her talk is scheduled May 6th, during the session titled, "Comprehensive assessment of plant bioactives for cardiometaboloic disorders."  Well done! 

Dr. Ritu Chakravarti has been invited to present her work at the Arthritis Annual Showcase in Columbus, Ohio. The conference will be held May 7th. Congratulations!

Dr. Tao Yang was quoted on his research in an article in Spirituality and Health titled, "Science & Spirit: Psychedelics, High Blood Pressure and Raw Chicken." Read more by clicking the link. Science & Spirit: Psychedelics, High Blood… | Spirituality & Health (

Congrats to Dr. Bina Joe! She was selected as one of the recipients of the University of Toledo's 2022 Outstanding Advisor Award. 

 Congratulations to Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri! She is now a Review Editor on the editorial board of Cardiovascular Therapeutics (specialty section of Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine). 

Congratulations to our trainee team for winning the Scavenger Hunt! There were four teams that took part in the Scavenger Hunt organized by Council of Biomedical Graduate Students on 04/22/2022 at the Health Science Campus. Students had to solve a murder mystery.

Team members of our student team 'Mystery Inc.' were:
Leah Stevenson
Mrunmayee Kandalgaonkar
Ishan Manandhar
Saroj Khadka
Sachin Aryal

Please join us in wishing Dr. Edwin Sanchez a happy retirement after an illustrious career for 33 years. Dr. Sanchez is a longstanding productive scientist and educator who has served our Institution since he took office as an Assistant Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics in 1989. He developed and sustained a federally-funded research program in nuclear receptors for over 3 decades and is a well-known international leader in this area of research. He has trained a number of PhD students and postdoctoral fellows. A special mention in this context is Dr. Terry Hinds, who continues his work in this field. Dr. Sanchez takes great pride in Terry as one who carries on his legacy. Dr. Katye Smedlund is a postdoctoral fellow who continues to work with us in Dr. Jennifer Hill’s laboratory.

Dr. Vijay-Kumar was invited as a speaker to “Indo-US workshop on Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Disease: Translational Research from Bench to Bedside to the Field."

The workshop, held March 21-25, 2022 was organized by JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research (JSS AHER) in association with Public Health Research Institute of India (PHRII), Mysore, Karnataka, India; University of California in Berkeley, University of Arizona and University of Toledo, USA.

The workshop is supported in part by Global Infectious Diseases (GID) research training program, NIH Fogarty International Center, USA, Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Government of India.

This workshop covered general principles and practical approaches to the use of molecular biology techniques to address infectious diseases’ epidemiology problems.

Expert speakers from University of California, University of Arizona, and University of Toledo will be covering relevant topics of importance that include molecular epidemiology, gut microbiome in health and diseases.


A manuscript on environmental sciences with machine learning of fish gut microbiota as reporters of their aquatic environments in Lake Erie and the Caribbean is accepted for publication in Physiological Genomics. This is the result of collaborative work between many laboratories of our Department.

Gut Microbiota of Wild Fish as Reporters of Compromised Aquatic Environments Sleuthed through Machine Learning.

John Turner, Dr. Xi Cheng, Nilanjana Saferin, Dr. Ji-Youn Yeo, Dr. Tao Yang, Prof. Bina Joe

Congratulations to the Paruchuri Lab! Their research has been published in the FASEB Journal.

Dr. Charles Thodeti was re-elected to continue as the President of ASIOA for a second term (2022-2024) during the ASIOA Banquet, organized on the sidelines of EB-2022, Philadelphia, USA. Established in 1981, ASIOA is a 40 year old non-profit organization and every year honors eminent scientists of Indian origin in the USA at the banquet. Drs. Charles Thodeti, Vijay Kumar Matam and Ravi Adapala from the department are past winners of ASIOA awards. ASIOA encourages early career scientists (undergraduate/graduate and post-doc fellows) to join and participate in Bi-annual conferences as well as apply for annual awards. The next  ASIOA Bi-Annual Conference and Banquet will be held in Long beach, California at the sidelines of APS Summit-2023. If anyone is interested in knowing more details about ASIOA and membership, please contact Dr. Thodeti directly.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Narendra Babu Konapalli, a new postdoc in Dr. Thodet's lab. He started with us last week. Dr. Konapalli hails from India. Welcome!

A word of great appreciation to all the faculty and students who attended and presented their research work at the Experimental Biology meeting held in Philadelphia last week. Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri, Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic and Dr. Bina Joe led three different sessions. Drs. Charles Thodeti, Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic and Dr. Tao Yang were invited speakers for the American Physiological Society (APS).  Dr. Lauren Koch led the trainee session of the Pre-meeting of the Physiological Genomics Group. Dr. Elliott Dirr from Dr. Zubcevic’s laboratory and Ms. Xue Mei from the Joe laboratory also presented invited talks. Finally, Dr. Bina Joe was awarded the Ernest Starling Distinguished Lecturership of the APS. Congratulations to all for their excellence at this important meeting pertinent to our Department.  Next year, the various societies will hold their own meetings and the APS meeting, called as the American Physiological Summit will be held at Long Beach, California. 

Dr. Bina Joe was elected to serve a three year term as Councilor of the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology (ACDP). Congratulations!

This is an editorial that Dr. Bina Joe had the privilege to write along with Dr. Kent E. Vrana. It is a reflection of teaching pharmacology in medical schools, published by the ASPET Publication- The Pharmacologist

A hearty congratulations to Dr. Yang! Several media outlets are highlighting his research work that was accepted and presented as part of the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (ASPET) annual Experimental Biology.
Please view the articles below:
Medical Press Gut bacteria may contribute to blood pressure medicine resistance (
Philly Voice Gut bacteria may explain why hypertension drugs don't work for everyone with high blood pressure | PhillyVoice
SciTechDaily Gut Bacteria May Be an Important Factor in Blood Pressure Medicine Resistance (
Medical News Today High blood pressure: Gut bacteria may contribute to drug resistance (

Congratulations to Mitchell Harberson! He is a trainee of Dr. Jennifer Hill and his research was printed in The Blade.

Well done, Mitchell!

A very hearty congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti!

She recently became a section editor of Immunobiology, an Elsevier publication.

She is also the recipient of the AAI Early Career Travel Grant for the upcoming Immunobiology 2022 meeting to be held in Portland, Oregon.

We are extremely proud of Dr. Ritu Chakravarti and Rachel Golonka, trainee of Dr. Vijay Kumar! They were both featured for their research in the University's Presidential State of the University Address. Keep up the good work!

A warm PhysPharm welcome to our newest faculty member, Dr. Islam Osman! He comes to us from Augusta University where his focus was in Clinical and Administrative Pharmacy; he is an experienced and skilled  University teacher and researcher. Welcome!

Congratulations to the Chakravarti laboratory for 2 publications emanating from her collaborations with faculty in the Departments of Microbiology and Medicine.  

K. Chawla, G. Subramanian, T. Rahman, S. Fan, S. Chakravarty, S. Gujja, H. Demchak, R. Chakravarti & S. Chattopadhyay. 2022. Autophagy in virus infection: A race between host immune response and viral antagonism. Immuno, 2 (1): 153-169.


H. Okonta, X. Cheng, R. Chakravarti & J. Duggan. 2022. Effects of antibiotic treatment on the microbiota, viral transmission, and viral pathogenesis of MoMuLV ts1 infected BALB/c mice. PLoS One, 17(1): e0261689.

Congratulations to the Yang laboratory for having their manuscript accepted to Hypertension Research!

Title: Depletion of gut microbiota enhances blood pressure-lowering effect of captopril: implication of gut microbiota in resistant hypertension
Authors: Jun Kyoung, Tao Yang

Drs. Chakravarti and Lecka-Czernik are recipients of the University of Toledo Research Innovation Program Award. The $40,000 grant supports their collaborative research on restoring bone health in autoimmune diseases. Congratulations! 

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! Her research has been highlighted by UT's Discovery Site. Please see the video here:   

Congratulations, Dr. Vijay Kumar! He has obtained a new provisional patent, "Rapid Screening for Elevated Bile Acids Using Whole Blood."

Dr. Piu Saha has been selected to receive the 2022 AAI Early Career Faculty Travel Grant for the AAI Annual Meeting - Immunology 2022. Congratulations!

Dr. Bina Joe has been asked to participate in National Library Week (April 3-9, 2022). In 1985, the American Library Association created "READ" - a poster campaign featuring celebrities posing with their favorite books. She has been asked to take part in the poster campaign for UT along with others from around the University. Just like the READ campaign, they will be posing with their favorite books.  The posters selected will be displayed in both Carlson and Mulford Libraries. 

Congratulations to Dr. Piu Saha! She has been invited as an international reviewer for evaluation of research projects within the FRM call for proposals "Equipes FRM 2022".
The Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (Foundation for Medical Research), France,  selects and supports innovative research projects that promise to advance knowledge of all diseases.

A hearty congratulations to Dr. Tao Yang! He was recently approved to serve on the Topical Advisory Panel of the journal Antioxidants.

Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar has been invited to speak at a workshop, “Indo-US workshop on Molecular Epidemiology of Infectious Disease: Translational Research from Bench to Bedside to the Field”, organized by JSS Medical College, JSS Academy of Higher Education & Research (JSS AHER), in association with Public Health Research Institute of India (PHRII), Mysore, Karnataka, India; University of California Berkeley, University of Arizona and University of Toledo. 

The goal of this workshop is to introduce principles and practices of molecular epidemiology that are applied to infectious diseases of global importance. This workshop will cover general principles and practical approaches to the use of molecular biology techniques to address infectious diseases’ epidemiology problems.

It will be held March 21st to 25th.

Congratulations to Dr. Tao Yang whose recent NIH R21 application received a 7% percentile and an impact score of 28! Well done!

Congratulations to Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar! He is the recipient of the Mario Toppo Distinguished Scientist Award from the Association of Scientists of Indian Origin in America. This award is presented to those who have made outstanding contributions to the sciences. Dr. Vijay-Kumar was awarded for his excellent contributions to Biomedical Research. 

Rachel Golonka, trainee of Dr. Matam Vijay Kumar, was featured in the UT News for her fellowship from the National Cancer Institute. Read the full article here:

As part of our sustained outreach efforts, several of our faculty, postdoctoral fellows and graduate students served as Judges for the Ottawa Hills High School Science Fair. Thanks to all those who participated!

Congratulations to Dr. Bina Joe and colleagues! Their manuscript was accepted for publication by AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology!

AJP-Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2022 Feb 11. Low dose 1,3-butanediol reverses age-associated vascular dysfunction independent of ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate.

Cameron G McCarthy, Emily W Waigi , Beng San Yeoh, Blair Mell, Matam Vijay-Kumar, Camilla F Wenceslau, Bina Joe

 Congratulations to Dr. Piotr Czernik on his retirement, January 31st!

Dr. Sailaja Paruchuri was a guest speaker (virtually) for Tulane University's Department of Pharmacology on January 28th. Her presentation was titled, "Bioactive lipid signaling in inflammation and cancer."

Dr. Ritu Chakravarti was interviewed by BBC World Radio News on her laboratory’s findings of a potential new ‘vaccine’ for Arthritis. As you may recall, this work was published in PNAS last year. Congratulations Dr. Chakravarti! Following is the link to her segment featured at ~ 8.23 min 

Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic has been invited to serve as a Regular Member by the Scientific Review Officer of the Integrative Vascular Physiology and Pathology (IVPP) Study Section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Zubcevic is currently serving on IVPP as an Adhoc Reviewer.

Congratulations Dr. Zubcevic for this recognition of your excellence in service to the NIH!

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! She has obtained $250,000 NSF grant funding as Co-PI to Dr. Dong Shik-Kim (COE). The title of the grant is “A hand-held device for rapid and accurate determination of cancerous tumor margins during surgical resections”. It is a 2-year grant, commencing from February 1, 2022.

The success of a scientific article is not only gauged by the Impact factor of where it is published, but also by the number of citations. As an example, here is an article published by Dr. Vijay-Kumar, which has been cited 1,000 times in less than 7 years. Although this particular article was published prior to Dr. Vijay-Kumar’s arrival at UT, its sustained success is impressive. Well done!

A manuscript Dr. Tao Yang and Dr. Bina Joe worked on with their collaborators from the University of Florida, has been accepted for publication in Pulmonary Circulation.

"Fecal matter transplant from Ace2 overexpressing mice counteracts chronic hypoxia-induced pulmonary hypertension."

Aline C. Oliveira,Tao Yang,Jing Li,Ravindra K. Sharma,Marianthi K. Karas,Andrew J. Bryant,Annette D. de Kloet,Eric G. Krause,Bina Joe,Elaine M. Richards,Mohan K. Raizada
DOI: 10.1002/pul2.12015

View the entire article here: Fecal matter transplant from Ace2 overexpressing mice counteracts chronic hypoxia‐induced pulmonary hypertension - Oliveira - 2022 - Pulmonary Circulation - Wiley Online Library

Congratulations to Ahmed Abokor! He is a trainee of Dr. Matam Vijay-Kumar and his article was published in The Blade

Congratulations to Dr. Ritu Chakravarti! She has been invited to speak at the Vaccines Summit in Boston, MA in March. Her talk is titled, "Novel Vaccine for Inflammatory Arthritis-Are we ready?" and will be presented during the New Vaccines Developments Session. You can find more information about the summit here: Vaccines Summit Boston 2022/#VSBOSTON22 (

The NHLBI website has published a short summary of the NIH workshop that Dr. Bina Joe was invited to attend in November, 2021. The summary is a reflection of areas for potential future funding considerations.
Click here to view:
Toward Precision Medicine: Circadian Rhythm of Blood Pressure and Chronotherapy for Hypertension | NHLBI, NIH

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Thodeti! He was invited to serve on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Physiology- Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

Dr. Bina Joe was featured as an invited International speaker at the HBPRCA meeting's symposium on Gut Microbiome and cadiovascular diseases. Other prominent international speakers include Prof Wilson Tang (Cleveland Clinic), Dr Annet Kirabo (Vanderbilt University College of Medicine), A/Prof Levi Waldron (City University of New York), and Prof Dominik Muller (Max-Delbrück-Center Berlin). 

Dr. Jasenka Zubcevic is one of the Topic Editors for "Gut Microbiota and the Nervous System" in the journal, Frontiers in Neuroscience.  This Research Topic is part of a series called, "Gut Microbiota and the Nervous System." Please see more here: Gut Microbiota and the Nervous System, Volume II | Frontiers Research Topic (

Congratulations to Dr. Charles Thodeti and team! Their manuscript has been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Title: Tumor-derived extracellular vesicles induce abnormal angiogenesis via TRPV4 downregulation and subsequent activation of YAP and VEGFR2  

Authors: Brianna D. Guarino, Venkatesh Katari, Ravi K. Adapala, Neha Bhavnani, Julie A. Dougherty, Mahmood Khan, Sailaja Paruchuri, and Charles K. Thodeti 

2021 News Archive

Last Updated: 9/20/22