Photo of Rajkumar  Verma, Ph.D.

Rajkumar Verma, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: 860-679-4552

Verma Lab

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Curriculum Vitae:

Dr. Verma is an Assistant Professor in the Neuroscience Department and the Pat and Jim Calhoun Cardiology Center at the UConn Health in Farmington, CT since 2016. Rajkumar completed his Ph.D. work at Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India and earned his doctoral degree in Pharmacy/Pharmacology from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India.

B.Pharm.HNB Garhwal UniversityPharmaceutical Sciences
M.Pharm.Birla Institute of TechnologyPharmacology
Ph.D.Birla Institute of Technology/Central Drug Research Institute IndiaPharmacology

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Patent Methods for Pharmacologic Treatment of Stroke, B Liang, R Verma, KA Jacobson, U.S. Patent 10,695,355U.S. Patent
Path Trailblazer AwardOffice of the Vice President for Research, UConn
Travel Grant to Pranay SrivasatavaAtomwise Inc., San Francisco, CA
First Prize Winner of the 2018 Stroke Progress and Innovation Award by American Heart Association (AHA)American Heart Association
START PPOC AwardOffice of Vice President for Research, University of Connecticut
Career Development AwardAmerican Heart Association
Atomwise Artificial Intelligence Molecular Screen (AIMS) AwardAtomwise Inc., San Francisco, CA
Travel Award, ISN Advanced School 2015, Fitzroy Island, AustraliaInternational Society for Neurochemistry
Junior Investigators Travel Award, International Stroke Conference, 2015American Heart Association
Outstanding Presentation Award, Neuroscience RetreatNeuroscience Department, UConn Health
Postdoctoral Training GrantAmerican Heart Association
Tokuji Ikenaka Prize ‘Gold Award’ for Best Poster Presentation in 10th Biennial Meeting of Asia Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN) Phuket, ThailandInternational Society for Neurochemistry/APSN chapter

CNS and CVS Pharmacology to Pharm.D. students. Neurobiology of Disease, Neurobiology of Glia

Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
BINP CSR NIH Study sectionStudy SectionReviewerExternalNational20232023
American Heart AssociationProfessional/Scientific OrganizationPresenter, Abstract ReviewerExternalInternational2022
Veteran Affairs (VA) Neurobiology-C [NURC]Study SectionGrant ReviewerExternalNational2022
The Graduate School, UConn HealthEducation CommitteeInterviewer, Application ScreeningUConn HealthLocal2022
The Graduate School, UConn HealthResearch CommitteePh.D. Thesis Committee MemberUConn HealthLocal2022
Graduate School Biomedical Science admission committee UConn HealthEducation CommitteeNeuroscience faculty representativesUConn HealthUniversity2022
Adhoc Reviewer for Veni-Grants, NWO Talent Programme for Dutch Research Council, Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science NederlandStudy SectionGrant ReviewerExternalInternational20212021
Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section [ANIE] 10/2020Study SectionGrant ReviewerExternalInternational2020

My lab investigates the cause-effect-relationships of stroke outcome. we focus on following three specific areas of stroke research.

Project 1: Stroke remains a leading cause of disability in the United States. Despite recent advances, interventions to reduce damage and enhance recovery after stroke are absent. In this project we will investigate a novel drug target “Purinergic receptor P2X4” for therapeutic exploitation in stroke. We will determine how the inhibition of P2X4R signaling influences these excessive immune during stroke using mice genetically engineered for global or selective deletion of P2X4R in total myeloid or infiltrating myeloid population and also by using pharmacological modulation. The overall goal of this project is to determine if modulation of P2X4R signaling in myeloid cells is a viable therapy for stroke, working towards our long-term goal of developing and identifying target-based therapies for stroke.

Project 2: Encephalomyosynangiosis (EMS) is a neurosurgical procedure with low morbidity that is applied to promote collateral vascular formation in patients with moyamoya disease, a condition with progressive narrowing of cranial arteries and consequent low blood flow that increases risk for ischemic stroke. The procedure involves placement of a temporalis muscle flap on ischemic brain tissue. Human data suggest that extensive collateral formation occurs within a few months after EMS in patients with moyamoya disease. Therefore, it was hypothesized that EMS, which provides a local and robust tissue as a source of vascular endothelium and angiogenic growth factors, will supply growth factors for angiogenesis that could promote neuronal survival following ischemic stroke. As a proof of concept, We have established EMS surgery for the first time in mice after ischemic stroke. Preliminary data from this model show that EMS surgery temporalis muscle graft was bonded to the cortical surface after 21 days. Additionally, mice receiving EMS after stroke show increased lectin-positive blood vessel formation at 21 days and showed behavioral recovery compared to stroke mice that did not receive EMS. These data indicate that EMS may be a safe and feasible treatment to restore blood supply to ischemic tissue; however, more in-depth, longer-term studies are needed. Therefore, this model will be used to further investigate EMS for treating ischemic stroke fot the following overall goal to determine if EMS promotes angiogenesis after non-moyamoya ischemic stroke, and to determine if EMS promotes long-term functional recovery after non-moyamoya ischemic stroke

Project 3: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs and have emerged as a powerful intervention tool for many diseases including stroke. They regulate a broad spectrum of biological pathways through fine-tuning of protein expression levels and altering gene expression levels. miRNA can concurrently target multiple effectors of pathways involved in stroke pathology. In this project we focus on the differential expression of miRNA expressed in mice after stroke and determine if blocking (with genetic deletion or antagomirs) or enhancing (mimics) these target miRNA modulates their effects. The overall goal our lab is to determine if manipulation of target miRNAs can improve functional recovery after stroke.

Postdoctoral Fellowship

A postdoctoral research fellow position is available in the group of Rajkumar Verma in the Neuroscience Department, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington CT. Verma lab studies mechanisms of recovery in a rodent model of ischemic stroke injury. The current focus of Verma lab is to explore the role of purinergic receptors in neuro-inflammation after stroke (NIH R01 funded) and validate innovative surgery technique “Encephalomyosynangiosis (EMS) for post stroke recovery in mice (AHA funded).


As a member of our interdisciplinary cerebrovascular research team, postdoc candidate will be focusing on the exploration of a novel mechanism of immune regulation in stroke. He will be involved in exploring the novel P2X receptor -specific inflammatory response in stroked mice. Our aim is to characterize these targets with a state-of-the-art methodology to validate their utility for pharmacological profiling of new candidate drugs. In our second project we want to validate the angiogenic, neurogenenic and post stroke recovery potential of EMS surgery in mouse model of ischemic stroke. As a member of our team, you will also have the prospect to develop or expand your own research ideas in a strong collaborative environment, which includes a diverse group of neuroscientists, immunologists and cardiologists. You will also be given the opportunity to mentor trainees, undergrad and provide input on other existing projects.

The candidate must have experience in basic molecular biology technique, rodent micro vascular surgery as well as behavioral analysis. Additional expertise in advanced microscopy techniques and flow cytometry will get preference. The candidate must be highly motivated and able to work independently and capable of designing experimental protocols, analyzing data, write manuscripts, and lead in the defining the direction of given investigations. The individual must also have a Ph.D. degree (or equivalent) and work experience in a laboratory setting.

Interested candidates should send their application in one electronic file (Research interest, cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names of at three references) to

Accepting Lab Rotation Students:  Fall 2022, Summer, Spring and fall of 2023

Journal Articles


  • Pubmed article link:


  • Methods for pharmacologic treatment of stroke
    B Liang, R Verma, KA Jacobson US patents 10,695,355


  • Molecular mediators of angiogenesis and neurogenesis after ischemic stroke.
    Paro, Mitch R; Chakraborty, Arijit R; Angelo, Sophia; Nambiar, Shyam; Bulsara, Ketan R; Verma, Rajkumar Reviews in the neurosciences 2022 Sep;
  • Synaptopathies: synaptic dysfunction in neurological disorders.
    Lepeta, Katarzyna; Lourenco, Mychael V; Schweitzer, Barbara C; Martino Adami, Pamela V; Banerjee, Priyanjalee; Catuara-Solarz, Silvina; de La Fuente Revenga, Mario; Guillem, Alain Marc; Haidar, Mouna; Ijomone, Omamuyovwi M; Nadorp, Bettina; Qi, Lin; Perera, Nirma D; Refsgaard, Louise K; Reid, Kimberley M; Sabbar, Mariam; Sahoo, Arghyadip; Schafer, Natascha; Sheean, Rebecca K; Suska, Anna; Verma, Rajkumar; Vicidomini, Cinzia; Wright, Dean; Zhang, Xing-Ding; Seidenbecher, Constanze Journal of neurochemistry 2016 Jun;138785-805
Title or AbstractTypeSponsor/EventDate/YearLocation
Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Common Age Independent Immunomodulatory Proteins As A Mode Of Neuroprotection In P2X4R KO Mice After Ischemic StrokePosterAHA international stroke conference 20232023Dallas, Texas.
Encephalomyosynangiosis Improves Angiogenesis And Recovery In Mice After Transient Ischemic StrokePosterAmerican heart association AHA stroke conference 20222022Vertual
Role of purinergic receptor P2X4 in neuroinflammation after ischemic strokeTalkBirla Institute of technology2022Vertual
Preclinical and molecular neuropharmacology workshop " Preclinical research for ischemic stroke: choose your animal model wiselyTalk(DST) SERB workshop Hyderabad India2022Vertual
Role of purinergic receptor P2X4 in ischemic stroke.TalkUniversity of South Florida2021Tampa, FL
Role of Purinergic Receptor P2X4R in neuroinflammation after ischemic stroke "Emerging trends in Neurotherapeutics"TalkSt Thomas college Palai2021Palai Tamilnadu India
UConn Medical Student neurosurgery interest group research symposium "preclinical model of ischemic stroke"TalkUConn Medical Student neurosurgery interest group2020Farmington CT
Exploring long term consequences of ischemic stroke in preclinical models.Panel DiscussionAmerican heart association AHA stroke conference 20202020San Diago
Preclinical and molecular methods in neuroscience "Role of purinergic receptor P2X4 in myeloid cell activation after ischemic stroke"OtherNIPER Hydrabad webinar2020Hyderabad Idia
Acute Treatment With Purinergic Receptor P2X4 Inhibitors Show Neuroprotective and Neuro-Rehabilitation Potential in Ischemic StrokePosterAmerican heart association AHA2019Hawaii, USA
Search of novel purinergic P2x4 receptor antagonists for the treatment of ischemic strokePosterSociety for Neurosciences2019Chicago