Photo of Rajkumar  Verma, Ph.D.

Rajkumar Verma, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Academic Office Location:
Neuroscience
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030
Phone: 860-679-4552
Email: raverma@uchc.edu
Website(s):

Neuroscience Graduate Program

Verma Lab

Dr. Verma is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neuroscience 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.

Education
DegreeInstitutionMajor
B.PharmHNB Garhwal UniversityPharmaceutical Sciences
M.PharmBirla Institute of TechnologyPharmacology
Ph.D.Birla Institute of TechnologyPharmacology

Awards
Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Patent Methods for pharmacologic treatment of stroke B Liang, R Verma, KA Jacobson US Patent 10,695,355US Patent
Path trailblazer awardOVPR UConn
Travel grant to Pranay SrivasatavaAtomwise Inc San Francisco
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 94105
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, Neurosciences retreatDept of Neurosciences, 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
American Heart AssociationProfessional/Scientific OrganizationPresenter, Abstract ReviewerExternalInternational2012

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: Vascular dementia (VaD) is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although it is the most rapidly increasing disorder in the aging population, VaD remains under diagnosed, studied and treated. Among many potential clinical triggers, multi-embolic infarcts and cerebral hypoperfusion are major causes of VaD. Among many subtypes of VaD, multi-infarct dementia is the most prominent one which results from multiple lesion or infarcts in brain parenchyma. At the molecular level, VaD is characterized by key neuronal and dendro-synaptic changes resulting in dysfunction and cognitive deficits. Therefore, greater understanding of the pathophysiology at the molecular level is needed to identify novel vascular substrates of dementia. Our goal here is to identify key proteins involved in modification of brain pathology during progression of VaD.


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 at Department of Neuroscience, University of Connecticut School of Medicine at Farmington CT.


Verma lab studies mechanisms of recovery in a rodent model of ischemic stroke injury. The current focus of his lab is to explore the role of purinergic receptors in neuro-inflammation after stroke. In addition, his lab also studies post-stroke depression in aged mice.


Responsibilities: 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 are trying to establish age appropriate behavioral and biochemical models to study post-stroke depression and change in synaptic plasticity in mice. 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 and cardiologist. 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 surgery as well as behavioral analysis. Additional expertise in immunohistochemistry 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 up protocols and manuscripts, and lead out in the defining the direction of given investigations. The individual must 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 raverma@uchc.edu.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022

Journal Articles

Notes

  • Pubmed article link:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/myncbi/1pMGjK8l8VkA5/bibliography/47933112/public/?sort=date&direction=ascending

Other

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

Reviews

  • 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
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