Ramakrishna U. Rao, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Dr. Ramakrishna Rao’s current research activities are related to molecular and biological aspects of filarial worms, diagnostics, the role of Wolbachia endobacteria in filarial worm biology; filarial infection and epidemiology.
Dr. Rao is interested in identifying the functional aspects of nematode (filarial worm) proteins and genes using current methodologies of proteomics and genomics. He has extensively studied the host immune response to parasitic nematode infection as it develops into either protection from infection or pathology. He was involved in antifilarial drug development with companies including Ciba-Geigy (India), Zonagen Inc., (TX), Divergence (now merged with Monsanto, St. Louis), and now is collaborating with Washington University School of Medicine McDonnell Genome Institute investigators to study target based antifilarial activities. In addition, he is actively involved in ongoing field studies funded by NIH, CNTD in UK, and LF Center-Taskforce, in Atlanta (In Sri Lanka and Egypt) to study the impact of mass treatment programs on filariasis prevalence rates in humans and transmission of infection.