Raj Wadgaonkar, PhD

Raj Wadgaonkar, PhD

Research Associate Professor
Director, Cardio-Respiratory-Renal MS2 Unit

Education and Training
  • PhD Molecular Cell Biology, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University – 1993
  • Fellowship, Vascular Biology Fellowship, Brigham and Women's Hospital Harvard Medical School – 1999
  • Prior to joining SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in 2004, Dr. Wadgaonkar served as a junior faculty member at Johns Hopkins University from 1994 to 2004.
Career / Research Interests

Today, the general focus of the Wadgaonkar laboratory is to investigate signaling mechanisms underlying endothelial cell activation and vascular injury related transcriptional regulation. To achieve this, a multi-faceted investigative approach is being taken; combining mouse modeling techniques with basic biochemical and cell biological studies. This approach provides a powerful means of dissecting gene function on a molecular and cellular level, as well as in the context of vascular injury and angiogenesis. Lab members have developed several vascular injury models, including pulmonary artery ligation, endotoxin induced sepsis and lung injury models. We are studying several pathways, including endothelial sphingolipid signaling, apoptosis and NFkB dependent inflammatory and survival pathways during vascular injury. A second major interest is to train the clinical fellows in bed to benchside research. We have developed sickle cell anaemia and pulmonary hypertension project, where the lab members are studying the circulating pluripotent endothelial cells and characterizing the phenotype in sickle cell disease vs pulmonary hypertension related endothelial cell activation. Recent focus of our laboratory is to study the sepsis related brain injury and neuroinflammatory processes. We have developed an endotoxin (LPS)-induced brain injury model to study the cytotoxic edema, enlargement of lateral ventricles, white matter rarefactions, oligodendrocyte loss, astrocyte proliferation, and cytokine release. Lab members are also pursuing a large scale whole genome scan using Affymetrix chips to identify SNPs and alleles that are associated with inflammation, lung injury and pulmonary hypertension associated with sickle cell disease.

  • Stephen Kuperberg and Raj Wadgaonkar, Pathogen-host interaction between lipopolysaccharide on the Blood-Brain Barrier: Molecular mechanisms of sepsis associated encephalopathy. Frontiers in Pharmacology 2015 in (press).
  • Joshi K, Anjum F, Grinkina N, Wadgaonkar R. Novel cross talk between sphingomyelin synthase and sphingosine kinase activation in acute lung injury. American Journal of Physiology Lung under revision (2015).
  • Grinkina NM, Karnabi EK, Muslimov IA, Wadgaonkar R*. Role of sphingosine kinase 1 in sepsis related brain injury. Revised manuscript-accepted J. Critical Care (2015).
  • Anjum F., Soh J., Albitar M., Lazar J., Gowda S., Hussain M., Wadgaonkar R* (2013). Dysregulation of Ubiquitin-proteasome pathway and Apolipoprotein-A metabolism in Sickle Cell Disease related Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Pulmo Circ J. -2013 Dec;3(4):851-5.
  • Martello LA, Wadgaonkar R, Gupta R, Machado FS, Walsh MG, Mascareno E, Tanowitz HB, Haseeb MA. Characterization of Trypanosoma cruzi infectivity, proliferation, and cytokine patterns in gut and pancreatic epithelial cells maintained in vitro. Parasitol Res. 2013 Dec;112 (12):4177-83
  • Himel HD 4th, Garny A, Noble PJ, Wadgaonkar R, Savarese J, Liu N, Bub G, El-Sherif N. Electrotonic suppression of early after depolarizations in the neonatal rat ventricular myocyte monolayer. J Physiol. 2013 Nov 1;591(Pt 21):5357-64.
  • Anjum F., Lazar J., Zein J., Jamaleddine G., Demetis S., Wadgaonkar R* (2012). Characterization of altered patterns of endothelial progenitor cells in sickle cell disease related pulmonary arterial hypertension. Pulm Circ J. 2012 Jan;2(1):54-60.
  • Anjum F., Grinkina N, Gowda S, Joshi K, Cutaia M, Wadgaonkar R* . Role of Sphingomyelin Synthesis in Pulmonary Endothelial Cells Cytoskeletal Activation and Endotoxin Induced Lung Injury. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012 Jul;47(1):94-103.
  • Gowda SP, Yeang C, Wadgaonkar SD, Anjum F, Grinkina N, Cutaia M, Jiang XC, Wadgaonkar R*. Sphingomyelin Synthase 2 (SMS2) Deficiency Attenuates LPS Induced Lung Injury. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2011 Mar; 300 (3):L430-40.
  • Joshi K, Anjum F, Gowda S, Damania D, Graham-Hill S, Gillette P, Zein J, Jamaleddine G, Demetis S, Wadgaonkar R. Uric Acid as a potential biomarker of pulmonary arterial hypertension in patients with sickle cell disease. Indian J Hematol Blood Transfus. 2011 Jun;27(2):96-100.
  • Grinkina NM, Karnabi EK, Muslimov IA, Wadgaonkar R*. Sphingosine Kinase 1 plays a pivotal role in the development of LPS- induced neuroinflammation. PLoS One. 7(5):e36475. Epub 2012 May 17.
  • Wadgaonkar S., Grinkina N., Gowda SP., Wadgaonkar R*. Role of Sphingosine kinase 1 activation in Pulmonary Endothelial Cell Survival. J. Aleergy and Therapeutics (2014).
  • Prakash H, Luth A, Grinkina N, Holzer D, Wadgaonkar R, Gonzalez AP, Anes E, Kleuser B. Sphingosine kinase-1 (SphK-1) regulates Mycobacterium smegmatis infection in macrophages. PLoS One. 2010 May 17;5(5):e10657.
  • Wadgaonkar R*, Patel V, Grinkina N, Romano C, Liu J, Zhao Y, Sammani S, Garcia JG, Natarajan V. Differential Regulation of Sphingosine Kinases 1 and 2 in Lung injury. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2009 Apr;296 (4):L603-13.