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    Bellamkonda Lab

    Neurological Biomaterials and Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • About Us

    Neurological Biomaterials and Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory

    Prof. Ravi Bellamkonda 

    The Wallace H Coulter Endowed Professor and Department Chair

    Prof. Bellamkonda is the Wallace H. Coulter Professor and Departmental Chair for the

    department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University. He

    is also a GRA Distinguished Scientist. Prof. Bellamkonda’s research involves an exploration of the

    interplay of biomaterials and the nervous system for neural interfaces, nerve repair and brain

    tumor therapy.

     

    As Chair of the highly ranked and highly regarded Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia

    Tech and Emory, Prof. Bellamkonda is helping facilitate transformative research in the areas of

    Pediatric Bioengineering, Cell Therapies, Neuroengineering, Immunoengineering, Cancer

    Technologies and Cardiovascular Imaging. Specifically, the opportunity in Cell Manufacturing is

    compelling and meets a significant need currently unmet by any other university or entity.

     

    Prof. Bellamkonda currently serves as the President for the American Institute for Biological and

    Medical Engineering (AIMBE) and the elected Board of Director for the Biomedical Engineering

    Society (BMES). He advises several departments and programs nationally as a member of

    their external advisory board. Prof. Bellamkonda has won numerous awards including a

    Clemson Award for Applied Research from SFB, EUREKA award from NCI (NIH), CAREER

    award from NSF, and Best Professor Award from GT BME student body.

     

    Prof. Bellamkonda is very interested in shaping educational programs that promote student-

    driven learning, and foster deep learning in students. He is also very interested in shaping

    educational programs that expand the engineering skill set to give students comfort with solving

    complex problems fearlessly and facilitating student entrepreneurial experiences (e.g., CREATE-

    X). Prof. Bellamkonda served at the principal investigator for a NIH funded T32 grant to promote

    doctoral training in the rational design of materials for seven years and developed a novel

    leadership program for doctoral students at Georgia Tech.

  • Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda to Be the New Dean

     

    of the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University

     

    Georgia Tech Commencement Speech

    by Ashley Alva

    A sensor web for neurons

    Our latest News and Views piece!

     

     

    Dr. Bellamkonda H-Index is 55 now!

     

     

    Congratulations to

    Akhil Srinivasan and Nassir Mokarram for graduating with their PhD

    Georgia Tech Commencement Speech

    by Nassir Mokarram 

    Congratulations to

    Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda for receiving the prestigious Clemson Award from Society of Biomaterials!

    Georgia's top medical researchers

    Dr. Ravi Bellamkonda recognized

    as one of the Georgia's top medical researchers!

    Ravi Bellamkonda Named Biomedical Engineering Chair

    Dr. Bellamkonda to chair the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University joint BME department effective July 1st 2013!

    Congratulations to

    Johnathon Lyon for his election as the graduate President of SGA!

    Dr. Bellamkonda named as the new president

    of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)!

  • Our Research

    Specific projects/areas of active research in the Bellamkonda lab include:

    Developing Brain Cancer Therapies

    Using nanocarrier encapsulation of drugs efficacious treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) a major form of brain cancer has been successfully developed. One of the approaches `showed that GBM could effectively be treated with the novel drug, Imipramine Blue (IB) an anti-invasive agent and doxorubicin, an anticancer chemotherapeutic. The generality of this approach is being currently evaluated in metastatic tumors of other tissue origin. Nanocarrier technology is also exploited to demarcate tumor margins to aid neurosurgeons in surgical removal of brain tumors. Also, based on the EUREKA NIH award, Prof Bellamkonda lab is developing new tumor cell “exvasion” methodologies to reduce tumor burden as well as controlling tumor cell migration along white matter tracts.

    Peripheral Nerve Regeneration

    Using a biomaterial approach and using biomimetic 3D scaffold that draw their design inspiration from principles of contact guidance, haptotaxis/ chemotaxis, regeneration of injured nerves are promoted. Studies are done to enhance regeneration across long gaps (>25 mm). Studies from Prof. Bellamkonda group have shown that tissue-energized scaffolds are comparable to the autografts in their performance. A wealth of information is also generated from these studies with respect to the response to topographical cues as well as cellular and molecular mechanisms that take place in the regeneration microenvironment. More recently, strategies based on an immunological approach has been adopted to facilitate the regeneration process.  Creating an anti-inflammatory macrophage phenotype subsequent to peripheral nerve injury has shown to favorably bias the regenerative process.  Efforts are directed towards using the body’s endogenous repair mechanisms including the participation of glial cells. Another active area in this realm is the fabrication of multi-channel devices for implantation to aid restoration of lost function in amputees.

    Strategies for Therapeutic Intervention for Spinal Cord Injury

    Several experimental approaches are taken to deliver treatments following spinal cord injury. The strategies include alleviation of trauma due to primary injury as well as mitigating secondary inflammation. Major focus in this area is to exploit the immune-modulation approach to tackle the consequences following the spinal cord injury including the dissolution of the astroglial scar to increase the plasticity to enhance the neuronal function.

    Brain Electrode Interfacing

    The major focus in the are a of brain-electrode interfacing is to unravel the reasons for the failure of the electrodes in a short period of time after implantation. To understand the causation of the failure, an investigation is carried out using a multidisciplinary approach. The sequences of cellular and molecular events that follow the electrode implantation are examined and a correlation is made to the ability to record from these devices. This should lead to predicting, at an earlier time point, the potential for these devices to fail. Alternatively, a new class of electrodes with biomaterial-based compounds is designed to minimize tissue/electrode mismatch to prolong the functional life of the electrodes. Also, novel electrode arrays are designed to overcome some of the drawbacks of the current electrodes. Our recent work has brought to light the role of compromised blood brain barrier (BBB) and the failure of implanted electrodes. Future strategies will focus on implementing strategies to cause healing to increase the life of the electrode interfaces. Additionally, for helping TBI patients, stem cell therapeutic approach is designed by creating “immune-privilege” microenvironment for stem cell survival in vivo.

  • Featured Publications

    • Saxena T, Bellamkona RV. 2015. Implantable electronics: A sensor web for neurons. Nature Materials.
    • Jain A, Betancur M, Patel GD, Valmikinathan CM, Mukhatyar VJ, Vakharia A, Pai SB, Brahma B, Macdonald TJ, Bellamkonda RV. 2014. Guiding intracortical brain tumour cells to an extracortical cytotoxic hydrogel using aligned polymeric nanofibres. Nature Materials.
    • Karumbaiah L, Saxena T, Carlson D, Patil K, Patkar R, Gaupp EA, Betancur M, Stanley GB, Carin L,Bellamkonda RV. 2013. Relationship between intracortical electrode design and chronic recording functionBiomaterials.
    • Saxena T, Karumbaiah L, Gaupp EA, Patkar R, Patil K, Betancur M, Stanley GB, Bellamkonda RV. 2013. The impact of chronic blood-brain barrier breach on intracortical electrode function. Biomaterials.
    • Munson JM, Bellamkonda RV, Swartz, MA.  2012.  Interstitial flow in a 3D microenvironment increases glioma invasion by a CXCR4-dependent mechanism.  Cancer Research.
    • Mokarram N, Merchant A, Mukhatyar V, Patel G, Bellamkonda RV. 2012. Effect of modulating macrophage phenotype on peripheral nerve repair. Biomaterials.

    • Munson JM, Fried L, Rowson SA, Bonner MY, Karumbaiah L, Diaz B, Courtneidge SA, Knaus UG, Brat DJ, Arbiser JL,Bellamkonda RV. 2012. Anti-invasive adjuvant therapy with imipramine blue enhances chemotherapeutic efficacy against gliomaSci. Transl. Med
    • Agarwal A, Mackey MA, El-Sayed MA, Bellamkonda RV. 2011. Remote Triggered Release of Doxorubicin in Tumors by Synergistic Application of Thermosensitive Liposomes and Gold Nanorods. ACS Nano
    • Loomis K, McNeeley KM, Bellamkonda RV. 2010. Nanoparticles with targeting, triggered release, and imaging functionality for cancer applications.  Soft Matter.
    • Hoffman-Kim D, Mitchel JA, Bellamkonda RV. 2010. Topography, Cell Response, and Nerve RegenerationAnnu. Rev. Biomed. Eng.
    • Lee H-J, McKeon R, Bellmakonda RV. 2009. Sustained delivery of thermostabilized chABC enhances axonal sprouting and functional recovery after spinal cord injury. PNAS
    • Bellamkonda RV. 2008. Biomimetic Materials: Marine InspirationNature Materials.

  • People

    We've got a top notch team!

    Principal Investigator

    Wallace H Coulter Professor & Department Chair at Georgia Institute of Technology & Emory School of Medicine.

    Administrative Manager

    I work directly with Prof. Bellamkonda with all projects with the lab and his department chair role. 

    Learn More

    Assistant Research Professor

    My research focuses on modulating immune response for enhancing the neural tissue regeneration as well as advanced immunoengineering approaches to treat brain tumors.

    Learn More

    Assistant Research Professor

    My research focuses on immune modulation in central nervous system trauma.

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    Lab Manager

    Besides managing daily lab workflow, I utilize my skills and expertise to provide histology analysis and train lab members the same techniques. Learn More

    Research Faculty

    My research focuses on cancer therapeutics, regeneration, cellular/molecular mechanisms in normal/disease physiology, research-based instruction to understand/ tackle biomedical problems. Learn More

    Research Faculty

    My work involves exploring the potential of motile nanocarriers in the treatment of brain tumors by enabling the stimulation of apoptotic pathway and innate immune response against tumor cells. Learn More

    Product Developer

    I work as a product developer for the Tumor Monorail project managing all facets from design to business of the new device development. Learn More

    Post-Doctoral Fellow 

    My research interests include the use of medical devices for immunomodulation and the treatment of cancer. 

    Learn More

    PhD Candidate

    My research focus is on managing brain tumors, particularly the discovery of novel cancer therapies using electric fields. Learn More

    PhD Candidate

    My current research focuses on studying the innate immune responses to mRNA based vaccines. 

    Learn More

    PhD Candidate

    My research focus is blood-brain barrier modulation for intracortical electrode implants. 

    Learn More

    PhD Student

    My research focus in the localized immune-suppression of T-Cells at the site of traumatic brain injury to enhance the the efficacy of stem cell therapy. Learn More

    PhD Student

    My research focuses on developing a material for CNS regeneration.

    Learn More

    Research Technologist

    I work with several projects in the lab concerning the study of immunological and bacteriological therapies for several types of brain tumor.

      Learn More

    Research Technologist

    I assist with conducting experimental designs as well as histological and molecular data collection & analysis for all ongoing projects in the lab.

    Neurosurgery Resident 

    My research effort has been focused on the translational aspect of the tumor monorail project. Learn More

  • Media

    Congress Brief

    AIMBE President Ravi Bellamkonda Briefs Congress on Brain Cancer Discoveries

    TEDxGeorgia Tech

    Technology to Dance with Nature

    Atlanta's WSB-TV one on one 

    BME @ Georgia Tech & Emory

    Unite 2 Fight Paralysis

    Alleviating CS-GAG Mediated Inhibition of Spinal Cord Regeneration

    Tumor Nanofiber Device

    Guiding Intracortical Brain Tumour Cells to an Extracortical Cytotoxic Hydrogel

    Tumor Monorail

    Cancer: 'Tumour monorail' can lead cancers to their doom

    http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26189827

  • Bellamkonda Lab Alumni

    Dr. Akhil Srinivasan

    Medtronic

    Dr. Jenny Munson

    Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia

    Dr. Lohitash Karumbaiah

    Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia 

    Dr. Anjana Jain

    Assistant Professor at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

    Dr. Kathleen McNeeley

    Teaching Faculty at the University of Texas at Dallas

    Dr. Chandra Valmikinathan

    Capgemini Consulting

    Dr. Shyam Aravamudhan

    Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

    Dr. Yoonsu "Paul" Choi

    Assistant Professor at the University of Texas-Pan American

    Dr. Vivek Mukhatyar

    LifeCell

    Dr. Isaac Clements

    Axion Biosystem

    Dr. Clare Gollnick

    Novetta

    Dr. Abhiruchi Agarwal

    Novartis 

    Martha Betancur

    PhD Candidate at UGA

    Gaurang Patel

    Regeneration Matrix

    Dr. Stathis Karathanasis

    Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve

    Dr. Hyunjung Lee

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    Ananta Laxmi Ayyagaari

    Wei He

    Associate Professor at University of Tennessee Knoxville

    George McConnell

    Associate Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology

    Young-Tae Kim

    Associate Professor at UT Arlington

    Dr. Justin Saul

    Associate Professor at Ohio University

    Dr. Mahesh Dodla

    Sigma Aldrich

    Dr. Yinghui Zhong

    Assistant Professor at Drexel University

    Dr. Ryan Gilbert

    Associate Professor at RPI

    Dr. Nancy Meilander

    National Institute of Standards and Technology

    Dr. Amit Balgude, M.D. 

    Radiologist

    George Dillon

    Dr. Xiaojun Yu

    Associate Professor at Stevens Institute of Technology

    Dr. Khalid Kader

    US Navy

  • Funding Sources

    Please contact us if you would like to contribute to our ground-breaking research or tour our lab!

  • Contact Us!

    Bellamkonda Lab at Georgia Tech and Emory University

    Phone: (404) 385-5035

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    The Laboratory for Neuroengineering (NeuroLab) at Georgia Tech and Emory University