Venna Lab

Venugopal Venna PhD – Assistant Professor

Education & Training
PhD Neuroscience, University of Lille-2 – France
Postdoctoral Fellowship University of Connecticut Health Center – Farmington, CT

Areas of Interest
Research interests: stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), acute and chronic stress

Dr. Venna is currently working on several translational research projects in the field of ischemic stroke. His work primarily focuses on the identification and development of novel therapeutic approaches to improve ischemic stroke outcomes by reducing neuronal death and enhancing post-stroke recovery. In line with his previous behavioral research interests, Dr. Venna utilizes a variety of experimental models to explore the mechanisms underlying post-stroke depression and cognitive impairment.

One of Dr. Venna’s current projects examines the role of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in post-stroke outcomes in young and aged animals. MIF is a cytokine that plays a key role in inflammation and innate immune signaling in both central and peripheral tissue. Importantly, MIF has recently been identified as a major contributor to depression. Although it is well-accepted that depression contributes to impaired recovery after stroke, it remains unclear whether MIF signaling contributes to post-stroke depression and recovery. Dr. Venna is currently performing detailed and translationally relevant studies to elucidate the role of MIF signaling on depression and functional recovery after ischemic stroke. This project will help us better understand the underlying mechanisms involved in post-stroke recovery, facilitate the identification of reliable biomarkers of stroke recovery, and serve as the basis for the development of future therapeutics for use in stroke patients.

Victoria Quaicoe – GSBS Graduate Student Research Assistant

Education and Training
BA Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University – Houston, TX (2019)

Areas of Interest
Research interests: Neurodegenerative diseases
Clinical interests: Oncology and Neurosurgery

Research & Experience
-Andrew Groves Lab, Baylor College of Medicine – Houston, TX (July 2016)
-GradSURP Summer Research Program, UT Health – Houston (2017)
-Biorepository of Neurological Disorders, Memorial Herman Southwest Hospital – Houston, TX (2019-2020)