Cunningham Hall 455, College of Nursing
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
PO Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
BS 2002, Medical Lab Technology, University of Kerala, India
MS 2008, Clinical Laboratory Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
PhD 2012, Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
Postdoctoral Studies 2013, Neurophysiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Sandeep Gopalakrishnan directs the Biobehavioral Research Laboratory at UW-Milwaukee. Prior to joining UWM, Dr. Gopalakrishnan was a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. David Harder at the Cardiovascular Center, Medical College of Wisconsin where his research focused on identifying the role of autoregulation in cerebral blood flow. For his doctoral research at UWM, Dr. Gopalakrishnan investigated the use of near-infrared photons in the treatment of retinal degeneration using animal models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) under the guidance of Dr. Janis Eells. His current studies are designed to understand the retinoprotective effects of PBM at the cellular and molecular level using widely studied animal models of retinal degeneration, and establish the use of PBM as an innovative, non-invasive therapeutic approach for the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases.
A growing body of evidence indicates that exposure of tissue to low energy photon irradiation in the far-red to near-infrared (NIR) range of the spectrum, collectively termed “photobiomodulation” (PBM / NIR-PBM), can act on mitochondria-mediated signaling pathways to preserve mitochondrial function, attenuate oxidative stress, stimulate the production of cytoprotective factors and prevent cell death. Dr. Gopalakrishnan's research focuses on evaluating the therapeutic potential of PBM / NIR-PBM in inherited and induced retinal degeneration.
The retinal degenerative disease, retinitis pigmentosa (RP), is the most common cause of blindness in the developed world and is caused by the progressive degeneration of photoreceptor cells. There is no effective treatment or prevention for RP. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress have been shown to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of RP and other retinal degenerative diseases. Thus, therapeutic strategies like PBM / NIR-PBM designed to improve mitochondrial function have significant potential for the treatment of retinal pathologies.
Using novel fluorescence imaging techniques like Cryo Optical Imaging, Gopalakrishnan and his colleagues have been able to demonstrate the metabolic state of the retina in a rodent model of RP and established that PBM can alter the metabolic state of the retina and attenuate the degeneration process in P23H transgenic model. This data is complemented by observations from ERG, SD-OCT and histomorphometry. Future studies will be designed to understand the retinoprotective effects of PBM at the cellular and molecular level using widely studied animal models of retinal degeneration and establish the use of PBM as an innovative, non-invasive therapeutic approach for the treatment of retinal degenerative diseases.
Link to PubMed listings