Raghu Rao, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Pediatrics

E-MAIL: raoxx017@umn.edu

Research Interests:

Our lab investigates substrate utilization and energy metabolism in the developing brain under adverse perinatal conditions. We use high-field 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy, immunohistochemistry and molecular analysis in our investigation. Our goal is to mechanistically link cerebral metabolic changes with brain structure and function, and develop sensitive biomarkers for devising novel preventive and therapeutic strategies. Our current research focus is neuroprotection during neonatal hypoglycemia. In addition, we collaborate with the Georgieff and Tran labs in the investigation of neurodevelopment in perinatal iron deficiency and with the DasGupta lab in Cincinnati in a study of regulation of forebrain neurogenesis by energy sensor AMP kinase.


Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

Rao R, Ennis K, Mitchell EP, Tran P, Jonathan C. Gewirtz. Recurrent Moderate Hypoglycemia Suppresses Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor Signaling in the Prefrontal Cortex and Impairs Sensorimotor Gating in the Post-Hypoglycemia Period in Young Rats Dev Neurosci (accepted on 11/30/15).

Scheurer JM, Gray HL, Demerath EW, Rao R, Ramel SE. Diminished growth and lower adiposity in hyperglycemic very low birth weight neonates at 4 months corrected age. J Perinatol (accepted on 9/21/15).

Wallin DJ, Tkac I, Stucker S, Ennis KM, Sola-Visner M, Rao R, Georgieff MK. Phlebotomy-induced anemia alters hippocampal neurochemistry in neonatal mice. Pediatr Res. 2015 Jun;77(6):765-71.

Maliszewski-Hall AM, Alexander M, Ivan Tkáč I, Öz G, Rao R. Differential effects of intrauterine growth restriction on the regional neurochemical profile of the developing rat brain. Neurochem Res 2015 May 14. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 25972040.

Rao R Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Programming After Recurrent Hypoglycemia During Development. J Clin Med 4: 1729-1740, 2015. PMID: 26343738.

Gisslen T, Varda B, Ennis K, Rao R. Recurrent hyperglycemia is associated with oxidative stress and microglial activation in the cerebral cortex of developing rats. Pediatr Res 78: 513-519, 2015. PMID: 26200703.

Bora R, Akhtar S, Venkatasubramaniam, Wolfson J, Rao R. Effect of long umbilical cord milking on hemoglobin and serum ferritin at six months in full-term infants of anemic and non-anemic mothers. J Perinatol 35: 832-836, 2015. PMID: 26226248.

Chouthai NS, Sobczek H, Khan R, Subramanian D, Raman S, Rao R. Hyperglycemia is associated with poor outcome in newborn infants undergoing therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. J Neonatal-Perinatal Med 8:125-31, 2015. PMID: 26410436.

Maliszewski-Hall A, Stein A, Alexander M, Rao R. Acute hypoglycemia results in reduced cortical neuronal injury in the developing IUGR rat. Pediatr Res 78: 7-13, 2015. PMID: 25826116.

Wallin DJ, Tkac I, Stucker S, Ennis K, Rao R, Georgieff MK. Phlebotomy-induced anemia alters hippocampal neurochemistry in neonatal mice. Pediatr Res 77:765-71, 2015. PMID: 25734245.

Ennis K, Dotterman H, Stein A, Rao R. Hyperglycemia accentuates and ketonemia attenuates hypoglycemia-induced neuronal injury in the developing rat brain. Pediatr Res 77: 84-90, 2015. PMID: 25279990.

Rao AR, Quach H, Smith E, Vatassery GT, Rao R. Changes in ascorbate, glutathione and α-tocopherol concentrations in the brain regions during normal development and moderate hypoglycemia in rats. Neurosci Lett. 2014 May 7;568:67-71.

Rao R, Tkac I, Unger EL, Ennis K, Hurst A, Schallert T, Connor J, Felt B, Georgieff MK. Iron supplementation dose for perinatal iron deficiency differentially alters the neurochemistry of the frontal cortex and hippocampus in adult rats. Pediatr Res. 2013 Jan;73(1):31-7.

Shao J, Lou J, Rao R, Georgieff MK, Kaciroti N, Felt B, Zhao Z-Y, Lozoff B. Maternal serum ferritin concentration is positively associated with newborn iron stores in women with low ferritin status in late pregnancy. J Nutr (in press).

Rao R, Hershey T. The impact of hypoglycemia on the developing brain. In. Hypoglycemia in Diabetes, Trans Endocrinol Metab (in press).

Unger EL, Hurst AR, Georgieff MK, Schallert T, Rao R, Connor J, Kaciroti N, Lozoff B, Felt B. Behavior and monoamine deficits in pre- and perinatal iron deficiency are not corrected by early postnatal moderate or high iron diet in rats. J Nutr (in press).

Traudt CM, Tkac I, Ennis KM, Sutton LM, Mammel DM, Rao R. Postnatal morphine administration alters hippocampal development in rats. J Neurosci Res. 2012 Jan;90(1):307-14.

Schmidt AT, Alvarez GC, Grove WM, Rao R, Georgieff MK. Early iron deficiency enhances stimulus-response learning of adult rats in the context of competing spatial information. Develop Cogn Neurosci 2: 174-180, 2012. PMID: 22229050.

Gisslen T, Nathan B, Thompson T, Rao R. Hyperinsulinism associated with gestational exposure to bupropion in a newborn infant. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab. 2011;24(9-10):819-22.

Ennis K, Deelchand DK, Tkac I, Henry PG, Rao R. Determination of oxidative glucose metabolism in vivo in the young rat brain using localized direct-detected ¹³C NMR spectroscopy. Neurochem Res. 2011 Nov;36(11):1962-8. Epub 2011 Jun 10.

Rao R, Tkac I, Schmidt AT, Georgieff MK. Fetal and neonatal iron deficiency causes volume loss and alters the neurochemical profile of the adult rat hippocampus. Nutr Neurosci. 2011 Mar;14(2):59-65.

Lehmann AE, Ennis K, Georgieff MK, Rao R, Tran PV. Evidence for a hyporesponsive limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis following early-life repetitive hypoglycemia in adult male rats. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Aug;301(2):R484-90. Epub 2011 May 18.

Terpstra M, Rao R, Tkac I. Region-specific changes in ascorbate concentration during rat brain development quantified by in vivo (1)H NMR spectroscopy. NMR Biomed. 2010 Nov;23(9):1038-43.

Rao R, Ennis K, Long JD, Ugurbil K, Gruetter R, Tkac I. Neurochemical changes in the developing rat hippocampus during prolonged hypoglycemia. J Neurochem. 2010 Aug;114(3):728-38. Epub 2010 May 6.

Rao R, Sperr D, Ennis K, Tran P. Postnatal age influences hypoglycemia-induced poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 activation in the brain regions of rats. Pediatr Res. 2009 Dec;66(6):642-7.

Rao R, Georgieff MK. Iron therapy for preterm infants. Clin Perinatol. 2009 Mar;36(1):27-42.

Ennis K, Tran PV, Seaquist ER, Rao R. Postnatal age influences hypoglycemia-induced neuronal injury in the rat brain. Brain Res. 2008 Jun 10.