Photo of Nilanjana  Maulik, Ph.D., FAHA

Nilanjana Maulik, Ph.D., FAHA

Professor of Surgery
Academic Office Location:
Surgery
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-1110
Phone: 860-679-2857
Fax: 860-679-2825
Website(s): Cell Biology Graduate Program

Dr. Nilanjana Maulik is a Professor of Molecular Cardiology and heading the Angiogenesis Laboratory at the Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut. Prof. Maulik received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry in December 1990 from Calcutta University, India. After completion of her Ph.D., Prof. Maulik joined the department of Surgery at University of Connecticut Health Center as a research fellow and continued as a faculty where now she serves as Tenured Professor. She is heavily involved in NIH funded research and serves as one of the experts in the angiogenesis field in the NIH study sections and has given more than 100 invited lectures both nationally and internationally. Prof. Maulik is also member of several prestigious societies, such as FASEB, AHA, ISHR, American College of Nutrition (ACN), International College of Angiology (ICA). She was the member of the Myocardial Ischemia Metabolism (MIM) study section of NIH for last 6 years and of the NHLBI Program Project Review Committee. Presently, Prof. Maulik serves as a reviewer of a several special emphasis panel study section of NIH. She is also a reviewer of the AHA Grant review process. She is on several Editorial boards of major cardiovascular journals. She is an associate editor of Molecular Cellular Biochemistry journal. Teaching is an integral part of her professional path. She is a recipient of several prestigious awards including Faculty Recognition award from the University of Connecticut Health Center. Her research focuses on the molecular mechanism of myocardial angiogenesis in the diseased/infarcted heart, ischemia/reperfusion injury, apoptosis and on the development of cardioprotective strategies which includes gene and stem cell therapy. She has published 170 original peer reviewed articles and 35 book chapters and very recently (2010) she has edited a book on epigenetics and human diseases for CRC press. Prof. Maulik has organized several international conferences/symposia, etc.

Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
Ph.D.University of CalcuttaBiochemistry
M.Sc.University of CalcuttaBiochemistry
B.Sc.St. Xavier's CollegeChemistry (Hons)

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Best Oral Presentation Randox Award at International Society for Free Radical Research
Grant-In-AidAmerican Heart Association
Young InvestigatorAmerican College of Angiology
Post Doctoral FellowshipAmerican Heart Association
Inspite of significant improvements in its medical and surgical management Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD) is still the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the western world. The health care system of the modern world has come up with good therapeutic methods, in time, to fight the devastating effects of the disease but it doesn’t seem to be enough to tackle still many aspects of the disease. Now the pressure is even greater on basic scientists and clinicians to deliver their best to translate their knowledge from bench to bedside.

Dr Maulik and her team is dedicated to bring about better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that govern the pathology of IHDs and the processes of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis in cellular and animal models of heart disease and to apply this basic knowledge obtained to tackle this dreaded disease by employing newer and better therapeutic approaches to protect, rescue, repair or regenerate the myocardium from ischemia induced myocardial degeneration and failure.

The process of cellular regeneration and repair which leads to reconstruction of structural and functional normal tissue in an injured area is undoubtedly highly efficient in embryos. However this ability is lost at the time of birth. During the fetal life both tissue repair refer to an identical biological response to injury, however, after birth they refer to two distinct biological processes. In the case of tissue repair, an injury results in repair and scar formation in all organs while on the other hand regeneration implies the replacement of dead cells by newly formed cells that differentiate and organize aiding in the restoration of the original structure of the lost tissue. This process of tissue regeneration occurs during the normal physiological cell turnover process, however in the absence of injury.

Several attempts have been made to promote cardiac regeneration in the infarcted ventricle. However despite many efforts to unearth a suitable strategy, the most appropriate form of myocardial regeneration therapy after myocardial injury remains to be identified. Over the past few years the better understanding of the biology of vasculogenesis, angiogenesis and arteriogenesis has significantly increased the use of growth factors in the treatment and/or prevention ischemic heart disease by inducing blood vessel formation and thereby restoring/enriching the blood flow. Therapeutic angiogenesis makes use of the administration of a drug or angiogenic growth factor protein or gene to promote the development of endogenous collateral vessels in ischemic myocardium. Gene transfer and protein therapy are the two main approaches that have been used to achieve therapeutic angiogenesis. Most recently, interest has grown in the potential of cell-based gene transfer to induce myocardial angiogenesis and arteriogenesis. It has been established in many preclinical studies that bone marrow cells may be able to secrete multiple potentially angiogenic substances as well as differentiate into cells that create new blood vessels. But the concept of myogenesis is not far behind as it is known that there may be dedicated precursors of cardiomyocytes in the myocardium, however, it seems to be little bit more far fetched in relation to the differentiation of bone-marrow-derived cells into heart muscle cells. It still remains elusive whether the transplanted cells themselves differentiate, or whether the paracrine effects from these transplanted cells stimulate already resident stem cells in the heart to differentiate.

Dr. Maulik’s research strategy combines expertise in different model systems to study IHD and the processes of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis, in vitro (cell culture), ex vivo (Langendorff and working heart model of myocardial global ischemia) and in vivo (rat and mouse survival surgery/LAD occlusion model myocardial regional ischemia) along with the various molecular biology techniques, proteomics, genomics, immunohsitochemical technique, small animal echocardiographic analysis and other imaging techniques that are made available to the fellows. Her laboratory also have expertise in non-invasive administration of drugs, adenovirus associated gene transfer and cell-based gene transfer to the myocardium to study the effect of inducing or turning off genes of interest in the process or angiogenesis, arteriogenesis and myocardial regeneration.

Her laboratory currently focuses on:

1) Molecular and cellular signaling during myocardial ischemia and reperfusion.
2) Mechanism of pharmacological as well as ischemic preconditioning of the heart.
3) Pharmacological preconditioning of sick hearts as in the case diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia etc.
4) The role of ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of different proteins in sick hearts.
5) Impairment of myocardial angiogenesis in diabetes: How to cope and Thrive
6) Adenovirus associated gene transfer and cell-based gene transfer to study the effect of inducing or turning off genes of interest in the process of myocardial regeneration.
7) Molecular mechanism of angiogenesis and arteriogenesis in hind limb ischemia model.

Science is quickening its pace towards better ideas in every field it has stepped into, particularly in the field of medicine. A time may not be far when we might be able to effectively cure IHD. But, “prevention is always better than cure”.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students for Summer '14, Fall '14, Spring '15

Journal Articles

Books

  • N Maulik Cardiovascular Diseases: Nutritional and Therapeutic Interventions 2012 Jan;
  • N Maulik Nutrition, epigenetic mechanism, and human disease 2010 Jan;

Book Chapters

  • Resveratrol Emerges As a Miracle Cardioprotective Phytochemical Polyphenol and Nutraceutical, Chapter 21
    Selvaraju S, Joshi M, Kotha SR, Parinandi NL, Maulik N. Cardiovascular Diseases: Nutritional and Therapeutic Interventions 2012 Jan;401-420
  • The effects of resveratrol on Diabetes and obesity, Chapter 33
    Sanchez JA, Thirunavukkarasu M and Maulik N. Nutritional and Therapeutic Intervention of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome 2011 Jan;413-430
  • Aging by Epigenetics: Nutrition, An Epigenetic key to Long Life, Chapter 2
    Maulik N and Maulik G. Nutrition, Epigenetic Mechanisms, and Human Disease 2010 Jan;13-30

Abstracts

  • Sequencial Activation of VEGF/Flk-1/MKK2/NFkappaB Signaling in Ischemic Preconditioning Induced Neovascularization: A Study with Flk-1+/– and MKK2–/– Knockout Mice Circulation
    Mahesh Thirunavukkarasu; Yozu Akita; Samson Mathews Samuel; Lijun Zhan; Chi-Kuang Huang; Matthias Gaestel; Nilanjana Maulik 2008 Jan;118S_575-S_576
  • Pellino-1: A Novel Candidate In Vegf/Flk-1/MKK2 Signaling In Ischemic Preconditioning Induced Cardioprotection: A Study Using Flk +/– and MKK2 –/– Knockout Mice
    Mahesh Thirunavukkarasu ,Samson Mathews Samuel Sankar Addya; Lijun Zhan; Chi-Kuang Huang; Matthias Gaestel; Venogopal P Menon; Nilanjana Maulik Circulation. 2007 Jan;116II_213
  • Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase-activated Protein Kinase 2 (MK2) Deficiency Protects Heart from Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury in Mice
    Shigeaki Kaga, Lijun Zhan, Chi-Kuang Huang, Matthias Gaestel, and Nilanjana Maulik AHA annual meeting 2005 Jan;
  • Prolyl Hydroxylase 1 Silencing Promotes Angiogenesis and Improves Blood Perfusion in a Mouse Hind Limb Ischemia Model: A Gene Knockout Study
    Rishi, M.T., Thirunavukkarasu, M., Selvaraju, V., Sanchez, J.A., Maulik, N. Circulation 12614398
  • Silencing Prolyl Hydroxylase Domain Protein 3 Stabilizes Hypoxia Inducible Factor −1 Alpha and Preserves Myocardial Function Through the Activation of Proangiogenic and Anti-Apoptotic Pathway Following Myocardial Injury in Mice
    Oriowo, B., Thirunavukkarasu, M., Adluri, R.S., Zhan, L., Takeda, K., Fong, G.H., Sanchez, J.A., Maulik, N. Journal of the American College of Surgeons 213(3):S33-S34

Editorials

Reviews

Short Surveys

Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Inhibition of Prolyl Hydroxylases: a Novel therapy for Peripheral Arterial and Cardiovascular DiseasesPlenary Lecture25th Annual Conference of The Indian Society for Atherosclerosis Research2012Annamalai nagar, Tamilnadu, India
Silencing of Prolylhydroxylases in Cardiac and Peripheral artery disease: Potential and ChallengesPlenary LectureInternational Meet on Advanced Studies in Cell Signaling Network (CESIN 2012), 2012Kolkata, India
Diabetes-mediated impairment of angiogenesis in myocardial injuryLecture53rd Annual American College of Nutrition2012Morristown, NJ
Silencing of prolyl hydroxylases in cardiac Repair: Potential and challengesLectureInternational Conference on Recent Trends in Therapeutic advancement of Free Radical Science and Ten2011Chennai, India
Silencing of prolyl hydroxylases in cardiac Repair: Potential and challenges. Lecture4th World Congress of international Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences2011Vadodara, India
Resveratrol expanding roles in cardiovascular disordersLecture8th International Conference of Functional Foods for the Prevention and management of chronic Diseas2011Las Vegas, Nevada
Rescue of diabetes related impairment of myocardial angiogenesis: Potential and challengesLectureUniversity Gill Heart Institute and Cardiovascular Research Center’s Cardiovascular Seminar Series f2011Lexington, KY
Silencing of prolyl hydroxylases in cardiac Repair: Potential and challengesLectureWinnipeg Heart International Conference2011Winnipeg, Canada
Thereapeutic Angiogenesis: Treating the coronary Vessel disease with genes and Gene productsLecture97th Indian Science Congress2010Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Rejuvenating the failing heart: Messenchymal stem cells making headway towards clinicsLectureSociety for Free Radical Research-India Satellite Conference2010Thrissur, Kerala, India
Rescue of diabetes related impairment of myocardial angiogenesis: Potential and challengesLectureInternational Conference on Advances in Free Radical Research, Natural products, Antioxidants and Ra2010Hydrabad, India
Rescue of diabetes related impairment of myocardial angiogenesis: Potential and challengesLectureOCC 2010 World Congress on Translational Redox and Tissue Oxygen Biology2010Santa Barbara, California