Postdoctoral Education honors two with awards

Murali Subramani, PhD, delivers his presentation at the Nov. 3 Postdoctoral Education Annual Event.

Murali Subramani, PhD, a postdoc research associate in the UNMC Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, received the 2023 Excellence in Research Award at the Nov. 3 Postdoctoral Education Annual Event.

Dr. Subramani was recognized for his research to treat glaucoma, where the degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the neurons that connect the retina with the brain, lead to irreversible vision loss. His work demonstrated that human RGCs generated from stem cells in a dish, when transplanted in the retina, can integrate and read the guidance cues necessary for making connections with the brain. 

From left: Vimla Band, PhD, Iqbal Ahmad, PhD, Murali Subramani, PhD, and Kaushik Patel, PhD

Dr. Subramani’s mentor is Iqbal Ahmad, PhD, associate dean and director of postdoctoral education and research.

Sravan Jonnalagadda, PhD, a postdoc research associate in the UNMC College of Pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, was runner up for the 2023 Excellence in Research Award. Dr. Jonnalagadda presented his achievement synthesis of a novel class of tetracyclic ketals. His mentor is Paul C. Trippier, PhD. 

During the event’s opening remarks, Ken Bayles, PhD, vice chancellor for research at UNMC, reflected on his postdoctoral days when, driven by the excitement of expected and unexpected results, he virtually lived in the lab. He advised postdocs to find their niche, just as he had found his in program cell death in bacteria, despite prevalent skepticism at the time.

During the keynote address, “Bringing Zen into Your Scientific Life,” Dr. Ahmad highlighted how Budha’s seven principles of enlightenment can be adopted in the parallel universe of a lab life for seeking truth with equanimity. He gave examples from the lives of Santiago Ramony Cajal, the father of modern neuroscience, and Rita-Levi Montalcini, the 1986 Nobel Prize winner. 

The postdoctoral education awards were presented by Vimla Band, PhD, chair of the UNMC Department of Genetics Cell Biology and Anatomy, and Kaushik Patel, PhD, professor in the UNMC Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology.


  1. Debbie Ordway says:

    Congratulations Murali!!

  2. Ekta Rishi says:

    Heartiest Congratulations Dr Murali and Dr Ahmad !

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