Research Overview

Basic Research

The Division's basic research focus is the role of lipoprotein modification in altering metabolism, nitric oxide as a therapeutic agent in osteoporosis and aldose reductase inhibition in diabetic neuropathy.

Hormone and Immunoassay Lab -- Gayathri Kulkarni, PhD, Director

Dr. Kulkarni is Director of the Immunoassay Lab in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition. Her research focus is Complementary and Alternate Medicine applied to metabolic bone diseases. She is involved in the laboratory analysis and data handling of NOVEL and other clinical studies including those related to sexual dysfunction in males and females. She is also collaborating in research with Cardiology division members on the role of inflammatory mediators in angioplasty procedures.

Dr. Kulkarni has received a Merck Fellow Award in Clinical Pharmacology. She has published in peer-reviewed journals in the areas of molecular biology and biochemistry.

Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Lab -- Chandana Herath, PhD, Director

Dr. Herath is Director of the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Lab. He earned his PhD in Biotechnology from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. His research expertise includes molecular biology methods, epi fluorescent microscopy analysis of mitochondria morphology, activity, flowcytometric analysis of bone cell proliferation and bone cell mitochondria activity analysis, mitochondria genome expression analysis genetic engineering methodologies, microbial culture methods.

Dr. Herath's research on osteoporosis includes the effect of aging on bone turnover, age related mitochondrial dysfunction in bone cells and the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in oxidative stress-induced and age-related osteoporosis.

His research in the area of cardiovascular disease includes cell identification of the cellular process that regulates proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) of hypertensive rat models, signaling in VSMC of hypertensive rat models and contribution of sphingosine-1-phosphate on proliferation of VSMC.