Bikash Pattnaik, PhD, MPhil

Credentials: Department of Pediatrics; Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, SMPH

Position title: Associate Professor; McPherson ERI M.D. Matthews Research Professor


Phone: (608) 265-9486

1300 University Avenue, SMI 112
Madison WI 53706

Keywords: Retinal disease, cellular signaling pathways, ion channels

BSc, 1987, Sambalpur University, Sambalpur, India
MSc, 1989, Sambalpur University, Sambalpur, India
PhD, 1997, University of Delhi, Delhi, India

Research Interests
Dr. Pattnaik’s lab focuses on cellular communications that are key to life and disease. They discovered a novel cellular signaling pathway between cone photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) that utilizes oxytocin in the PR and oxytocin receptors in the RPE cells. This established a role for naturally occurring oxytocin signaling in the eye beyond its involvement in labor and sociability. Another key focus of his laboratory research is channelopathy–defects in ion-channel proteins–leading to inherited and acquired blindness. Ion channels are integrated in the cell membrane and control the passage of specific ions into or out of cells lifelong. RPE cells are present in the back of the eye and nourish the neural retina to maintain its health, thus resulting in our ability to see. Pattnaik’s lab has shown that mutations in RPE inwardly rectifying potassium and chloride channels cause blindness, such as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) and Best’s disease. They are currently employing several in-vitro (patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells iPSC-RPE) and in-vivo (genetically engineered mouse) models to study cell, tissue, organ, and animal physiology. They use various state of the art techniques including electroretinogram, patch-clamp, biological imaging, and molecular and biochemical techniques to repair ion channel defects in the hope of treating blindness.

Pattnaik Research Group