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Meenakshi Rao, Ph.D., M.D.


Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, BaltimorePhD05/2007Neuroscience
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, BaltimoreMD05/2007Medicine

Available: 12/01/19, Expires: 12/31/20

Our lab is interested in understanding the cellular and molecular basis of the prominent sex differences in GI disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). We have compelling data from rodent models that sex hormones can regulate GI functions by signaling to the enteric nervous system, the intrinsic nerve circuits of the gut. We are now undertaking studies in human patients to translate our findings from bench to bedside. The medical student could perform the data analysis and manuscript writing for studies from human samples and/or become involved with our more mechanistic basic science work.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. W81XWH1810639 (RAO, MEENAKSHI) Sep 30, 2018 - Mar 30, 2020
    U.S. Department of Defense
    New Tools for Investigating Enteric Neural Circuit Dysfunction in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. R13DK120291 (RAO, MEENAKSHI) Sep 1, 2018 - Aug 31, 2019
    Advances in Motility and in Gastroenterology-AIMING for the future
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. K08DK110532 (RAO, MEENAKSHI) Aug 29, 2016 - May 31, 2021
    Enteric Glia, Sexual Dimorphism and GI Motility
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. F32DK098903 (RAO, MEENAKSHI) Aug 1, 2013 - Jul 31, 2015
    The role of glial cells in the enteric nervous system
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Rao M. An increasingly complex view of intestinal motility. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 02; 17(2):72-73. PMID: 31811278.
  2. Russell JP, Mohammadi E, Ligon CO, Johnson AC, Gershon MD, Rao M, Shen Y, Chan CC, Eidam HS, DeMartino MP, Cheung M, Oliff AI, Kumar S, Greenwood-Van Meerveld B. Exploring the Potential of RET Kinase Inhibition for Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Preclinical Investigation in Rodent Models of Colonic Hypersensitivity. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2019 02; 368(2):299-307. PMID: 30413627.
  3. Kulkarni S, Ganz J, Bayrer J, Becker L, Bogunovic M, Rao M. Advances in Enteric Neurobiology: The "Brain" in the Gut in Health and Disease. J Neurosci. 2018 10 31; 38(44):9346-9354. PMID: 30381426.
    Citations:    Fields:    
  4. Rao M, Gershon MD. Enteric nervous system development: what could possibly go wrong? Nat Rev Neurosci. 2018 09; 19(9):552-565. PMID: 30046054.
  5. Rao M, Rastelli D, Dong L, Chiu S, Setlik W, Gershon MD, Corfas G. Enteric Glia Regulate Gastrointestinal Motility but Are Not Required for Maintenance of the Epithelium in Mice. Gastroenterology. 2017 10; 153(4):1068-1081.e7. PMID: 28711628.
  6. Rao M, Gershon MD. Neurogastroenterology: The dynamic cycle of life in the enteric nervous system. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2017 08; 14(8):453-454. PMID: 28655880.
  7. Rao M, Gershon MD. The bowel and beyond: the enteric nervous system in neurological disorders. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 09; 13(9):517-28. PMID: 27435372.
  8. Rao M, Nelms BD, Dong L, Salinas-Rios V, Rutlin M, Gershon MD, Corfas G. Enteric glia express proteolipid protein 1 and are a transcriptionally unique population of glia in the mammalian nervous system. Glia. 2015 Nov; 63(11):2040-2057. PMID: 26119414.
  9. Rao M, Gershon MD. Bugs, guts, and glia: how microbiota influence enteric gliogenesis and migration. Neuron. 2015 Jan 21; 85(2):229-30. PMID: 25611502.
  10. Worthley DL, Churchill M, Compton JT, Tailor Y, Rao M, Si Y, Levin D, Schwartz MG, Uygur A, Hayakawa Y, Gross S, Renz BW, Setlik W, Martinez AN, Chen X, Nizami S, Lee HG, Kang HP, Caldwell JM, Asfaha S, Westphalen CB, Graham T, Jin G, Nagar K, Wang H, Kheirbek MA, Kolhe A, Carpenter J, Glaire M, Nair A, Renders S, Manieri N, Muthupalani S, Fox JG, Reichert M, Giraud AS, Schwabe RF, Pradere JP, Walton K, Prakash A, Gumucio D, Rustgi AK, Stappenbeck TS, Friedman RA, Gershon MD, Sims P, Grikscheit T, Lee FY, Karsenty G, Mukherjee S, Wang TC. Gremlin 1 identifies a skeletal stem cell with bone, cartilage, and reticular stromal potential. Cell. 2015 Jan 15; 160(1-2):269-84. PMID: 25594183.
    Citations: 122     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  11. Sabharwal P, Lee C, Park S, Rao M, Sockanathan S. GDE2 regulates subtype-specific motor neuron generation through inhibition of Notch signaling. Neuron. 2011 Sep 22; 71(6):1058-70. PMID: 21943603.
    Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  12. Yan Y, Sabharwal P, Rao M, Sockanathan S. The antioxidant enzyme Prdx1 controls neuronal differentiation by thiol-redox-dependent activation of GDE2. Cell. 2009 Sep 18; 138(6):1209-21. PMID: 19766572.
    Citations: 29     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  13. Rao M, Sockanathan S. Transmembrane protein GDE2 induces motor neuron differentiation in vivo. Science. 2005 Sep 30; 309(5744):2212-5. PMID: 16195461.
    Citations: 28     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  14. Rao M, Sockanathan S. Molecular mechanisms of RNAi: implications for development and disease. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today. 2005 Mar; 75(1):28-42. PMID: 15838922.
    Citations: 7     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimalsCells
  15. Rao M, Baraban JH, Rajaii F, Sockanathan S. In vivo comparative study of RNAi methodologies by in ovo electroporation in the chick embryo. Dev Dyn. 2004 Nov; 231(3):592-600. PMID: 15376322.
    Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.