Dr. Menaka Thounaojam is trained in the area of epigenetic regulation of metabolic diseases including diabetes and its complications. Her postdoctoral training on the role of microRNAs in regulation of neuroinflammation and lymphocyte functions, formed a solid foundation for her present research investigating the pathogenesis of ischemic retinopathies, including diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity. She has been Editorial board member of 4 peer-reviewed international journals and serves as reviewer for 16 journals, including Scientific Reports and Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Her NIH-RO3 funded project from Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) evaluates the role of various bile acids for the treatment and prevention of complications in premature children.
She collaborates with Dr. Manuela Bartoli and is a co-investigator on her NEI funded project studying uric acid and diabetic retinopathy. She has recently been investigating on the role of gut microbiome, bile acids and their correlation in complications of prematurity particularly ROP. Dr. Thounaojam frequently collaborates with other members of the VDI including Drs. Bartoli, Gutseava, Martin, Stansfield and Powell.
Summary: Dr. Thounaojam's research interest focuses on the specific contribution of miRNA and gut microbiome in the pathogenesis of ischemic retinopathies including diabetic retinopathy and retinopathy of prematurity.
Key research areas:
----Role of growth hormone receptors in diabetic retinopathy.
----Role of gut microbiome, bile acids and their correlation in regulation of retinopathy of prematurity.
----MicroRNAs-mediated modulation of retinal neovascularization and diabetic retinopathy.
B.S. Zoology --Handique Girls College, Gauhati University, Assam, India --2005
M.S. Zoology --The M.S. University of Baroda, Gujarat, India --2007
M.S. Zoology --Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, India --2007
Ph.D. Zoololgy --Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, India --2011
Post-doc Neuroinflammation --National Brain Research Centre, Gurgaon, India --2014
Post-doc Cancer Immunotherapy --Mehhary Medical College, Nashville, TN --2015
Post-doc Diabetic Retinopathy --Augusta University, Augusta, Georgia --2018