University of Nebraska Medical Center

Chithra K. Pushpan, PhD

Instructor, UNMC Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery

Dr. Pushpan's research has been focused on investigating the mechanisms of disease progression in heart and kidney failure. She has worked on identifying the role of inflammation and immune responses in contributing to the development of atherosclerosis and the cell death pathways in kidney injury. Her current goal is to employ the insights gained to develop therapeutic interventions using a translational approach.

Dr. Pushpan's current research interest is in identifying molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of congenital pulmonary valve abnormalities. There are treatment strategies successfully applied in different conditions, but they come with a few challenges based on the kind of abnormality that is being treated. One way to demonstrate why the patient outcomes vary in each condition can be made possible by understanding at the molecular level the differences between their cellular constitution. One approach to studying this is using induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes for their characteristic and functional differences. Identifying these underlying factors for the progression of diseases will pave the way to finding new avenues for the treatment and prevention of diseases.

  • Qualified-National Eligibility Test (NET): Lectureship, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, 2011
  • PhD.: Biochemistry, University of Kerala, India, 2017
  • Recipient-Post-doctoral Fellowship: Kerala State Council for Science, Technology & Environment, Government of Kerala, India, 2017
Research Interests
Our lab is investigating differences in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte characteristics and functions to understand molecular mechanisms underlying various congenital heart abnormalities.