Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)

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Lakshmi Pulakat, PhD, M.Phil., M. Sc.

Tufts Medical Center
Tupper Building, Floor 7
15 Kneeland Street.
Boston, MA 02111
Phone #: (617) 636 9005

2019, Selected Presenter for Legislative Showcase-Translational Precision Medicine Center, University of Missouri Systems
2014-18, MU Top Faculty list for extramural grants, University of Missouri Systems
2015, MU Top Faculty Achiever Recognition, University of Missouri Systems
2013-14, Mizzou 39’ Mentor Recognition, Alumni Association Student Board, University of Missouri-Columbia
2012-13, Excellence in Education Award, Division of Student Affairs, University of Missouri-Columbia
2006-07, Certificate of Recognition, National Siemens Competition Mentor, Siemens Foundation
2004, President’s Award for Collaborative Research/Creative Work with Graduate Students, President’s Office, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
2004, Certificate of Appreciation from The Distinguished Thesis Award Committee for Mentoring, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
2001, Certificate of Appreciation from The Distinguished Dissertation Award Committee for Mentoring, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
2000, Elliot L. Blinn Award for Faculty-Undergraduate Student Innovative Basic Research/Creative Work, President’s Office, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
1999, Outstanding Contributor to Graduate Education, Graduate Student Senate, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
1998, Elected Fellow of Ohio Academy of Sciences, Ohio Academy of Sciences, Ohio
1996, Teaching Award for Superior Performance in teaching, Department of Biological Sciences, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio
1985-88, University of Melbourne Post Graduate Scholarship University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
1981, First Rank in national level entrance examination for M.Phil. admission to School of Environmental Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
1979, First prize for Science Quiz, State Quiz Contest, Kerala, India
1979, National selection to School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
1976-84, National Science Talent Scholarship, National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), India
1974-76, National merit Scholarship, Government of India

1. Pulakat L, Sumners C. 2020. Angiotensin type 2 receptors: Painful, or not? Front Pharmacol. 11:571994. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2020.571994

2. Pulakat L and Chen HH. Pro-Senescence and Anti-Senescence Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Aging: Cardiac MicroRNA Regulation of Longevity Drug-Induced Autophagy. Front Pharmacol. 2020; 11: 774.

3. Sun H, Pulakat L, Anderson DW. Challenges and New Therapeutic Approaches in the Management of Chronic Wounds. Curr Drug Targets. 2020;21(12):1264-1275. doi: 10.2174/1389450121666200623131200. PMID: 32576127

4. Sharma N, Belenchia AM, Toedebusch R, Pulakat L, Hans CP. AT2R agonist NP-6A4 mitigates aortic stiffness and proteolytic activity in mouse model of aneurysm. J Cell Mol Med. 2020. doi:10.1111/jcmm.15342

5. Toedebusch R, Belenchia A, Pulakat L. Cell-Specific Protective Signaling Induced by the Novel AT2R-Agonist NP-6A4 on Human Endothelial and Smooth Muscle Cells. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9:928. Published 2018 Aug 21. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00928

6. Toedebusch R, Belenchia A, Pulakat L. Diabetic Cardiomyopathy: Impact of Biological Sex on Disease Development and Molecular Signatures. Front Physiol. 2018;9:453. Published 2018 May 3. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00453.

7. Lum-Naihe K, Toedebusch R, Mahmood A, Pulakat L et. al., Cardiovascular disease progression in female Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats occurs via unique mechanisms compared to males. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):17823. Published 2017 Dec 19. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-18003-8

8. Mahmood A, Pulakat L. Differential Effects of β-Blockers, Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers, and a Novel AT2R Agonist NP-6A4 on Stress Response of Nutrient-Starved Cardiovascular Cells. PLoS One. 2015;10(12):e0144824. Published 2015 Dec 21. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0144824

9. Pulakat L, Cooper S, Knowle D, et al. Ligand-dependent complex formation between the Angiotensin II receptor subtype AT2 and Na+/H+ exchanger NHE6 in mammalian cells. Peptides. 2005;26(5):863-873. doi:10.1016/j.peptides.2004.12.015

10. Knowle D, Ahmed S, Pulakat L. Identification of an interaction between the angiotensin II receptor sub-type AT2 and the ErbB3 receptor, a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor family. Regul Pept. 2000;87(1-3):73-82. doi:10.1016/s0167-0115(99)00111-1

11. Matute C, Pulakat L, Raio C, Valcarcel C, Miledi R. Properties of angiotensin II receptors in glial cells from the adult corpus callosum. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1994; 91(9): 3774-3778. Published 1994 Apr 26. doi: 10.1073/pnas.91.9.3774

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Dr. Pulakat is Principal Investigator at the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI) of the Tufts Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at the Department of Medicine at TUSM. She is also a graduate faculty of the CDMB graduate Program of GSBS of Tufts University. Before moving to MCRI of Tufts medical Center, she served as Professor of Medicine in the Dept. Internal Medicine, and held a joint appointment as Professor in the Dept. Nutrition and Exercise Physiology at the University of Missouri Columbia for 10 years. She also served as a Life Sciences Mission Enhancement Fellow at the University of Missouri and a member of the Translational Precision Medicine Center (TPMC) Cardiovascular Emphasis Area Working Group. Currently she continues to hold adjunct faculty position as Professor of Medicine at UM-Columbia and as an external Research Scientist at Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center. She had also served as a Professor of Biological Sciences at the Mississippi State University, Mississippi, and Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She has a strong background in cell and molecular biology, and published over 80 peer-reviewed publications and 190 abstracts. She also has an extensive training record of Fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, and high school students, and received multiple awards for research mentoring. At Tufts, she is a member of the Tufts Medical Center-Tufts University COVID-19 Research group and serves as the Facilitator for the COVID-19 Animal Hosts group and Public Impact group.

Dr. Pulakat received her PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and post-doctoral training in Neurobiology at the laboratory of the late Distinguished Professor and National Academy Member Prof. Ricardo Miledi at UC Irvine. Her research has evolved from primarily utilizing classic molecular biology and biotechnology methods in basic science research to understand specific protein-protein interactions that can contribute to disease to working on highly translational research that focuses on validation and testing of new therapeutics and devices as well as identifying key therapeutic targets Her current research is done in extensive collaboration with small business interests (primarily Novopyxis Inc, and Droplette Inc., both Boston-based biotechnology companies).

Obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome are significant contributors to structural and functional damage of cardiovascular cells that result in pathologies including cardiac and vascular fibrosis, cardiomyopathy, and microvascular damage that result in ischemia and poor nutrient availability to different organs. In patients with obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome, although drugs that reduce blood pressure, fasting blood glucose, LDL and cholesterol can slow down cardiovascular damage, they are not sufficient to prevent or reverse fibrosis, cardiomyopathy and vascular and endothelial dysfunction. Current COVID-19 crisis highlights the increased vulnerability of diabetic patients to severe illness and death if infected by SARS-CoV2. A drug that can specifically protect cardiovascular cells exposed to severe stressors (metabolic diseases, infection) and suppress inflammatory cytokine networks is a critical need now. Pulakat Lab works in collaboration with Novopyxis Inc., to validate that novel anti-inflammatory signaling induced by NP-6A4, a pediatric cardiomyopathy drug with an FDA designation, can protect cardiovascular cells from severe stressors and chronic inflammation. We also work in collaboration with Droplette INC. to develop new localized trans-tissue drug delivery approaches to deliver vascular protective and/or anti-inflammatory treatments with high molecular weight drugs (peptides and gene therapy) to injured tissues (chronic non-healing wounds, severe lung damage).

Ohio Academy of Sciences
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
American Heart Association/High Blood Pressure Research Council
American Physiology Society
American Association for the Advancement of Science