Department of Neuroscience

College of Medicine
Departments of Neuroscience and Pharmacology

Fax: 614-292-7232

Research Interests: Stem cells applications in translational and regenerative medicine

Neurological Disorders: Dr. Anand's team is interested in studying how genes and the environment interact to increase susceptibility to neurodevelopmental, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. They are currently developing human induced pluripotent stem cell derived neurons and brain organoids to use as in vitro models of the human brain. These human brain organoid models will allow them to study:
  1. How exposure to drugs of abuse in utero, such as in pregnant nicotine users, alters the early brain development of the fetus
  2. How human gene variants contribute to neurological disorder susceptibility
Dr. Anand's lab is currently interested in developing brain organoids to study autism, drug addiction and Parkinson's disease.

Development of Therapeutics: The drug targets for a number of diseases including cancer, heart disease and neurological diseases are cell surface membrane proteins such as receptor tyrosine kinases, ion channels and G-protein coupled receptors. The greatest challenge for in silico design of drugs is the significant lack of high-resolution structures for most of these membrane proteins of therapeutic value. This is because structural studies such as X-ray crystallography and high-resolution NMR need significant amounts of protein, which are very challenging to produce in vitro.

Dr. Anand's laboratory is taking a high-risk, high payoff approach to making membrane proteins for structural studies. The electric fish, Electrophorus Electricus, as well as other electric fish, have evolved electric organs for electrogenic communication. The electrolytes of the electric organ express very high levels of membrane proteins that are involved in their electrogenic functions. The team is part of a consortium of investigators using genomic and transcriptomic strategies to first understand how these electric organs evolved from myogenic stem cell precursors in electric fish.

Dr. Anand's team then intends to understand the transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms that regulate the expression of electrogenic membrane proteins in the electric organ. Their long-term goals are to neofunctionalize cells to express human membrane proteins of therapeutic importance based on their understanding of the regulatory mechanisms operational in electrocytes. This project is synergistic with the team's current interest in harness the power of stem cell biology to understand and treat human disorders.

Active Funding: Funded by an Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)


Arnold LE, Anand R, Aman M. (2013) Varenicline in autistic disorder: hypothesis and case report of single-patient crossover. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol 23:61-614. 

Amici SA, McKay SB, Wells GB, Robson JI, Nasire M, Ponath G, Anand R. (2012) A highly conserved cytoplasmic cysteine residue in the alpha4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is palmitoylated and regulates protein expression. J Biol Chem 287:23119-23127. 

Arnold LE, Aman MG, Holloway J, Hurt E, Bates B, Li X, Farmer C, Anand R, Thompson S, Ramadan Y, Williams C. (2012) Placebo-controlled pilot trial of mecamylamine for treatment of autism spectrum disorders. J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacology 22:198-205. 

Mukherjee J, Kuryatov A, Moss SJ, Lindstrom JM, Anand R. (2009) Mutations of cytosolic loop residues impair assembly and maturation of alpha7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. J Neurochem 110:1885-1894. 

Cheng SB, Amici SA, Ren XA, McKay SB, Treuil MW, Lindstrom JM, Rao J, Anand R. (2009) Presynaptic targeting of alpha4beta 2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is regulated by neurexin-1beta. J Biol Chem 284:23251-23259. 

Zhao C, Anand R, Braunewell KH. (2009) Nicotine-induced Ca2+-myristoyl switch of neuronal Ca2+ sensor VILIP-1 in hippocampal neurons: a possible crosstalk mechanism for nicotinic receptors. Cell Mol Neurobiol 29:273-286. 

Ruskin DN, Anand R, LaHoste GJ. (2008) Chronic menthol attenuates the effects of nicotine in adolescent but not adult rats. Nicotine Tob Res 10:1753-1759. 

Ruskin DN, Anand R, LaHoste GJ. (2007) Menthol and nicotine oppositely modulate body temperature in the rat. Eur J Pharmacol 559:161-164. 

Brackmann M, Schuchmann S, Anand R, Braunewell KH. (2005) Neuronal Ca++ sensor protein VILIP-1 affects cGMP signalling by regulating receptor recycling of guanylyl cyclase B in hippocampal neurons. J Cell Science 118:24895-2505. 

Ren XQ, Cheng SB, Treuil MW, Mukherjee J, Rao J, Lindstrom JM, Anand R. (2005) Structural determinants of alpha4beta2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor trafficking. J Neurosci 25:6676-6686. 

Lin L, Jeanclos EM, Braunewell KH, Gundelfinger ED, Anand R. (2002) Functional analysis of calcium-binding EF-hand of Visinin-like protein-1. Biochem Biophy Res Comm 296:827-832. 

Lin L, Jeanclos EM, Magdalen T, Braunewell KH, Gundelfinger ED, Anand R. (2002) The calcium sensor protein VILIP-1 modulates the surface expression and agonist-sensitivity of the nicotinic alpha4beta2 acetylcholine receptor. J Biol Chem 277:41872-41878.

Degrees: BS – University of Madras (Loyola College), India MS – Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India PhD – The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Postdoctoral: Salk Institute, San Diego, CA, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

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