University of Nebraska Medical Center

Mohan Krishnan, PhD

Associate Professor, UNMC Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Mohan Krishnan, PhD

My research lab investigates the pathophysiology of Transfusion-associated Necrotizing Enterocolitis (TA-NEC) and Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS) in premature infants who are at high risk of anemia and heavily transfused.  Our main goal is to understand the role of monocyte/macrophage in the neonate and investigating their inflammatory phenotype, function during anemia and/or RBC-transfusion associated NEC and SIRS.

Our seminal contribution includes the development of a highly innovative murine model of NEC caused by the administration of blood transfusions to phlebotomy-induced murine anemic pups, with resulting injury correlating to the severity and duration of the underlying anemia. Using this first pre-clinical model of TANEC, we have addressed longstanding controversies by untangling the individual contributions to injury from anemia versus its treatment, the subsequent transfusion. Notably, this is the first and so far, only animal model ever developed to investigate this phenomenon, and finally provides mechanistic insights into the association of blood transfusions and NEC that had been identified in more than 25 clinical studies. With support from the NIH, this model has resulted in four first-authored manuscripts, including our seminal publication in Nature Communications and U.S Patent. Projecting forward, this model provides the groundwork to understand the mechanism(s) by which NEC-like injury can be ameliorated, as we pilot targeted novel anti-inflammatory therapies.

  • Bachelor's, biochemistry, University of Madras, Chennai, India, 1997
  • Master's, biochemistry, University of Madras, Chennai, India, 2001
  • PhD, biochemistry-biotechnology, University of Madras, India, 2008
Primary Research, Clinical Interests
  • Neonatal Anemia, Monocyte Ontogeny, Erythrocyte development
  • RBC transfusion associated Necrotizing Enterocolitis, RBC transfusion associated Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome
  • Neonatal hematopoietic system and its regulation in anemic neonates