University of Nebraska Medical Center

Kiran Sapkota, PhD

Research Interests

  • Study of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) subtypes specially GluN2C-2D-subtype in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism
  • Development and pharmacology of NMDAR allosteric modulators with potential application for neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia
  • Mechanism of action of NMDAR allosteric modulators
  • Use of NMDA receptor subtype selective modulators to study the role of specific receptor subtypes in nervous system function and CNS disorders

Ongoing Projects

Characterization and pharmacological study of NMDAR allosteric modulators

Evidence from various studies strongly suggests the association of NMDA receptors with schizophrenia. Reduced NMDAR function, especially in GABAergic interneurons containing parvalbumin (PV), is one of the replicative factors involved in pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The primary goal of this project is to identify chemical compounds selectively potentiating the GluN2D subtype since these are expressed in PV-neurons. Identification of subunit-selective modulators for other subtypes also serve valuable tools for studying brain function under normal and pathological conditions. We are also interested in studying NMDA receptor signaling in astrocytes.

  • PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2016
  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
  • American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • Graduate Pharmacists' Association Nepal (GPAN)
  • 2016: UNMC Graduate Student Fellowship
  • 2015: Travel award offered to attend International Student Research Forum (ISRF) meeting in Scotland (Asia Pacific Rim Development Program, UNMC)
  • 2015: First Place poster presentation award, 46th annual Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum (MSBRF)
  • 2012: Travel award to attend AAAI, Florida, USA (Creighton University)
  • 2006: Dean’s listed candidate for outstanding academic performance (Pokhara University, Nepal)