Dr. Pendyala's Laboratory



Vicki Schaal
Research Technologist II


Sneh Koul
Research Technologist I


Murali Kuracha, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate


Sneham Tiwari, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Associate

  Melissa Campbell
Research Administrator
  Kunal Sualy, MD
Clinical Researcher
Photo-Coming-Soon.png Murali Devanaboyina 
High School Researcher
  Jordan Hernandez
Graduate Student
Adrian Flores
Graduate Student 
  Alex Schmitz
Medical Student 
Colton Roessner
Medical Student


Lab Alumni

Nate Lombardo
Research Scholar


Nate Zaroban
Medical Student 

Rahul Guda
Undergraduate Researcher
Gabriel Gallegos, MD
Clinical Research Fellow
  Sid Gillella
High School Researcher


Currently accepting PhD and MD/PhD students for graduate studies and lab rotations.

Positions available:
- Postdoctoral Fellowship
- Residents and Clinical Fellows with research interests in the neurobiology of drug addiction

Contact gpendyala@unmc.edu for more information.




Child Health Research Institute/UNMC/Children's Hospital & Medical Center
Award Period: 07/01/2020 – 06/30/2021                           
Title: The conundrum of opioid use in the NICU: Providing comfort or aggravating development?
Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Sualy)

COBRE - Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine Pilot project
Award Period: 03/01/2019-12/31/2020
Title: “Characterizing Synaptic Architecture in Pre and Postnatal Oxycodone Exposed Offspring Using Clarity”
Role: Principal Investigator

Child Health Research Institute/UNMC/Children's Hospital & Medical Center
Award Period: 02/01/2020 - 01/31/2021                           
Title: Cord blood extracellular vesicle proteins as novel biomarkers to screen newborns exposed to intrauterine prescription opioids
Role: Principal Investigator

U2-18-FU910, National Strategic Research Institute/University of Nebraska
Award Period: 01/06/2020 - 01/05/2021                           
Title: Medical Countermeasure Drug Discovery & Development
Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Bayles/Berkowitz)

Award Period: 9/30/2019 to 8/31/2023
Title: "High-throughput integrated magneto electrochemical exosome (HIMEX) platform to identify neurodevelopmental markers associated with pre and postnatal oxycodone exposure"
Role: Principal Investigator

NIH/NEI R01EY030507
Award Period: 09/01/2019-05/31/2024
Title: “Influence of Ocular hypertension on neurons and synapses in the visual thalamus”
Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Van Hook)

Award Period: 9/30/2018 to 6/30/2023
Title: "Extracellular vesicles, meth relapse, and sex differences"
Role: Principal Investigator

Award Period: 04/15/2019-03/31/2021
Title: "Therapeutic Efficacy of Ibudilast to Attenuate Inflammation at the Synapse"
Role: Principal Investigator


NE DHHS LB506- 2020-42
Award Period: 07/01/2019-06/30/2020
Title: " Nicotine Addiction and Sex Differences: Role of Extracellular Vesicles"
Role: Principal Investigator

UNMC Office of Vice Chancellor of Research Core grant
Award Period: 01/01/2018-12/31/2018
“Oxycodone Exposure and Synaptic Development”
Role: Principal Investigator

Nebraska Center for Substance Abuse Research
Award Period: 11/1/17-10/31/18
Title: “Systems biology approach to identify novel blood biomarkers associated with opioid tapering”
Role: Principal Investigator

COBRE - Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine Pilot project
Award Period: 01/01/2018-06/30/2018
Title: “In vivo neuroimaging of brain metabolites after oxycodone exposure”
Role: Principal Investigator

Nebraska Research Initiative
Award Period: 07/1/15-06/30/17
Title: “Ageing and NeuroAIDS: Decoding the synapse”
Role: Co- Principal Investigator
IDEA Award, Department of Defense
Award Period: 09/30/13-09/29/16
Title: “Mechanisms of synaptic alterations in a neuroinflammation model of Autism”
Role: Co- Investigator
Nebraska Research Initiative
Award Period: 07/1/12-06/30/14
Title: “Strategies to prevent relapse in chronic methamphetamine users”
Role: Principal Investigator
NE DHHS –LB506 2014-04B
Award Period: 07/1/13-06/30/14
Title: “Sex Differences in Nicotine addiction: A systems approach to decipher the synapse”
Role: Principal Investigator

Gurudutt Pendyala, PhD, and Vicki Schaal, MS, prepare research materials in Dr. Pendyala's lab.

(Past two years)

Shahjin, F.; Guda, R.S.; Schaal, V.L.; Odegaard, K.; Clark, A.; Gowen, A.; Xiao, P.; Lisco, S.J.; Pendyala, G.; Yelamanchili, S.V. Brain-Derived Extracellular Vesicle microRNA Signatures Associated with In Utero and Postnatal Oxycodone ExposureCells 20209, 21.

CNS organoids: an innovative tool for neurological disease modeling and drug neurotoxicity screening. Chhibber T, Bagchi S, Lahooti B, Verma A, Al-Ahmed A, Paul MK, Pendyala G, Jayant RD. Drug Discov Today. 2019 Nov 26. pii: S1359-6446(19)30452-0. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2019.11.010. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID: 31783130

Moore D, Meays BM, Madduri LSV, Shahjin F, Chand S, Niu M, Albahrani A, Guda C, Pendyala G, Fox HS, Yelamanchili SV. "Downregulation of an Evolutionary Young miR-1290 in an iPSC-Derived Neural Stem Cell Model of Autism Spectrum Disorder." Stem Cells Int. 2019 May 2;2019:8710180. doi: 10.1155/2019/8710180. eCollection 2019. PMID: 31191687

Pittenger SA, Schaal VL, Moore D, Guda RS, Koul S, Yelamanchili SV, Bevins RA and Pendyala G# (2018) “MicroRNA cluster miR199a/214 are differentially expressed in female and male rats following nicotine self- administration” Scientific Reports 8:17464 doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-35747-z #Corresponding author

Thangaraj A, Periyasamy P, Liao K, Bendi VS, Callen S, Pendyala G, Buch S.HIV-1 TAT-mediated microglial activation: Role of mitochondrial dysfunction and defective mitophagy. Autophagy. 2018 Jul 3. doi: 10.1080/15548627.2018.1476810. PMID: 29966509 [Epub ahead of print]

Pendyala G, Chou S, Jung Y, Coiro P, Spartz E, Ragunatham P, Li M and Dunaevsky A (2017) “Maternal immune activation causes behavioral impairments and altered cerebellar cytokine and synaptic protein expression” Neuropsychopharmacology 42(7):1435-1446.

Hu, G, Liao K, Yang L, Pendyala G, Kook Y, Fox HS and Buch S (2017) “Tat-mediated induction of miRs-34a & 138 promotes astrocytic activation via down regulation of SIRT1: Implications for aging in HAND” Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology  12(3):420-432.

Pendyala G, Marcario JK, Riazi M, Fleming K, Marquis J, Lisco SJ, Cheney PD and Buch SJ (2016) “Effect of morphine on behavioral task performance in SIV-infected rhesus macaques” Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology Jun; 11(2): 348-375. 

Charnitkov S, Pittenger S, Thapa I, Bastola DR, Bevins RA and Pendyala G# (2015) “Ibudilast reverses the decrease in the synaptic signaling protein phosphatidyl ethanolamine- binding protein 1 produced by chronic methamphetamine intake in rats” Drug and Alcohol Dependence Jul 1; 152:15-23

Pendyala G, Perisamy P, Callen S, Fox HS, Lisco SJ and Buch S (2015) “Chronic SIV and Morphine treatment increases heat shock protein 5 expression at the synapse” Journal of Neurovirology Oct; 21(5): 592-8.

Coiro P, Ragunathan P, Anand S, Spartz E, Pendyala G, Chou C, Jung Y, Meays B, Roy S, Li M and Dunaevsky A (2015) "Impaired Synaptic Development in a Maternal Immune Activation Mouse Model of Neurodevelopmental Disorders" Brain, Behavior and Immunity 50: 249-58.

Additional Publications in Pubmed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/1NwKZMtTqHnQJ/bibliography/47962309/public/?sort=date&direction=descending


Rick Bevins, PhD
Dept. of Psychology, UNL

Shilpa Buch, PhD
Dept. of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, UNMC

Siddappa Byrareddy, PhD
Dept. of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, UNMC

Sowmya Yelamanchili, PhD

Dept. of Anesthesiology, UNMC

Hakho Lee, PhD

Dept. of Radiology, Harvard University

Cristina Woo, PhD

Dept. of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

Mohanad Shukry, MD
Dept. of Anesthesiology, UNMC

Ann Anderson Berry, MD, PhD
Dept. of Pediatrics, UNMC

Rahul Jayant, PhD
School of Pharmacy, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center




UNMC Anesthesiology Research