Meet Distinguished Scientist Santhi Gorantla, Ph.D.

January 22, 2015

Image with caption: Santhi Gorantla, Ph.D.

Santhi Gorantla, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored Feb. 2 at a ceremony for UNMC's 2014 Scientist Laureate, Research Leadership, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Santhi Gorantla, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacology/Experimental Neuroscience
  • Joined UNMC: 2002
  • Hometown: Hyderabad, India

Describe your research briefly in layman's terms.
Translational mouse models such as humanized mice have been very valuable to study human specific viruses like HIV. We developed this novel mouse model for the studies of neuroAIDS. Humanized mice are reconstituted with the functional human immune system. HIV infection in these mice results in human-like disease. We utilize these mice to study HIV pathology and to develop therapeutic strategies and vaccines.

How does your research contribute to science and/or health care?
Humanized mice provide the unique opportunity to work with human tissues reconstituted in mice, and they are regarded as an essential component of translational research. Our work in HIV research, using this mouse model, provides prospects in developing a protective vaccine. We are also collaborating with researchers at UNMC and other academic institutions by providing humanized mice for testing new drug formulations and immunotherapeutics against human-specific pathogens and cancer that may have potential for human translation.

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you, professional or personal?
"Do what you love and love what you do." My mother raised me with this faith. It keeps me going with enthusiasm in everything I do.

List three things few people know about you.

  • I was born and raised in a very famous pilgrimage city of India, Tirupati, which has the second richest temple in the world.
  • I like to try different cuisines, and one of my favorite dishes is vegetarian sushi.
  • I love art and Indian music.


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Kusum K. Kharbanda
January 22, 2015 at 8:50 PM

Santhi, Congratulations!!