New investigator: Sowmya Yelamanchili, Ph.D.

January 19, 2018

Image with caption: Sowmya Yelamanchili, Ph.D.

Sowmya Yelamanchili, Ph.D.

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2017 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Sowmya Yelamanchili, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacology & Experimental Neuroscience, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: 2008
  • Hometown: Hyderabad, India

The New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New Investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

Research focus:
Neurodegenerative diseases and drug abuse

The goal of my research is to:
Understand the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) and extracellular vesicles (EVs) in neurodegenerative disorders such as HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), a condition comprising a spectrum of brain dysfunction during chronic HIV infection and further exacerbated by the psychostimulant methamphetamine.

While our works in vivo (rodent, non-human primates) have identified novel EV-associated miRNAs, our in vitro works have further studied the underlying mechanisms during disease manifestation. My laboratory has recently for the first time elucidated that EV-associated microRNAs can elicit neurotoxicity in models of neuronal injury including HAND and in rodent models of traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Current ongoing works are focused on elucidating the role of cargo molecules, which are expressed on the EVs, and how they impact brain function in HAND and TBI. In addition, my lab also focuses on developing novel in vitro and ex vivo model systems to understand brain function during development.

My research will make a difference because:
Drug abuse is a serious problem and a significant contributor to neurodegenerative diseases. My research goal is to understand how both acute and chronic drug abuse changes not only brain structure but also its function. The knowledge gained through our studies could be used for translational works to develop novel therapeutic targets and therapies for drug addiction.

The best advice I've ever been given is:
Be good and do good.

Three things you may not know about me are:

  • I paint and love oil painting -- mixing of colors in oil is magical!
  • Mountains are my favorite getaway!
  • I practice yoga and meditation.


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January 22, 2018 at 11:03 AM

Congratulations on your achievement. I am really proud of you. It is a real great honour for you . You have always steuggled hard for this kind of achievements. Keel going .

Kusum K. Kharbanda
January 22, 2018 at 8:58 AM

Congratulations Sowmya!!

January 20, 2018 at 1:44 AM


Krishna Yalamanchili
January 20, 2018 at 1:07 AM

Great pleasure to see sowmya @ this point. May God bless u.

January 19, 2018 at 3:45 PM

Thank you all ! Truly a pleasure to work at UNMC.

Jimmy Talaska
January 19, 2018 at 1:05 PM

Congrats Sowmya! You've worked so hard to get here!

Prakash Radhakrishnan
January 19, 2018 at 12:17 PM

Congratulations Sowmya! Well deserved!

Moorthy P. Ponnusamy
January 19, 2018 at 11:07 AM

Congratulations Sowmya!

Aditya Bade
January 19, 2018 at 11:05 AM


Jerrie Dayton
January 19, 2018 at 11:00 AM

Congratulations Sowmya! Very well done. I know how hard you work. Much success going forward.

Bhagya Dyavar
January 19, 2018 at 9:52 AM

Congratulations Dr.Sowmya, very happy for you!

Ravi Dyavar
January 19, 2018 at 6:47 AM

Hearty Congratulations Sowmya for receiving young investigator award, a well deserved achievement. Wish you more success in future!