Lalitha Madhavan, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Applied BioSciences - GIDP
  • Associate Professor, BIO5 Institute
  • Associate Professor, Clinical Translational Sciences
  • Associate Professor, Evelyn F McKnight Brain Institute
  • Associate Professor, Medicine
  • Associate Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Associate Professor, Neurology
  • Associate Professor, Neuroscience - GIDP
  • Associate Professor, Physiological Sciences - GIDP
  • Member, University of Arizona Cancer Center
  • Member, Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
  • Member of the Graduate Faculty

Dr. Madhavan received a medical degree from Baroda Medical College in India. She then went on to obtain a doctorate in Neuroscience at Iowa State University, and pursued postdoctoral studies at the Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research at the University of Cincinnati. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology, and studies the potential of stem cells in the context of neurological disorders.


Her research concentrates on stem cells and their applications to neurological diseases. The ultimate goal of these studies is to use this research to devise brain repair strategies for neurological disorders, based on the manipulation of stem cells and also in combination with other alternates approaches.

Her Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine current projects center on Parkinson’s Disease utilizing primarily cell culture and rodent animal models. More specifically, some ongoing endeavors are (1) studying stem cells in the context of aging, (2) generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from Parkinson’s patients to study the etiology of Parkinson’s Disease, and (3) testing the therapeutic feasibility of various types of human stem cells in preclinical models of Parkinson’s Disease.

Her research team uses a variety of techniques to study stem cells and neurological disease including cell culture, in vitro assays, animal surgery/modeling, animal behavior, cell transplantation, mitotic labeling, retroviral reporters/gene transfer, RNA interference, and immunohistochemistry.

Interested students should contact Dr. Madhavan by email.


Madhavan, L, William JF, Vellareddy A, Kanthasamy AG; 5-Hydroxytryptamine 1A receptor activation protects against N-Methyl-D-aspartate-induced apoptotic cell death in striatal and mesencephalic cultures; J Pharmacol Exp Ther (JPET). 2003 March; 304(3): 913-923.

Madhavan, L, Ourednik V, Ourednik J; Grafted neural stem cells shield the host environment from oxidative stress; Annals New York Academy of Sciences. 2005 May; 1049: 185-8.

Madhavan, L, Ourednik V, Ourednik J; Increased "vigilance" of antioxidant mechanisms in neural stem cells potentiates their capability to resist oxidative stress; Stem Cells. 2006 Sep; 24(9):2110-9. Epub 2006 May 25.

Madhavan, L, Ourednik V, Ourednik J; Neural stem/progenitor cells initiate the formation of cellular networks that provide neuroprotection by growth factor modulated antioxidant expression; Stem Cells. 2008 Jan; 26: 254-65. Epub 2007 Oct 25.

Madhavan, L, Paumier KL, Daley BF, Collier TJ; Transplantation of subventricular zone neural precursors induces an endogenous precursor cell response in a rat model of Parkinson's disease; J Comp Neurol. 2009 July 1; 515 (1): 102-15.

Madhavan, L, Collier TJ; A synergistic approach for neural repair: cell transplantation and induction of endogenous precursor cell activity; Neuropharmacology; 2010 May; 58 (6):835-44. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

Spieles-Engemann AL, Behbehani MM, Collier TJ, Wohlgenant SL, Madhavan, L, Paumier K, Steece-Collier K, Gombash S, Mandybur GT, Lipton X, Sortwell CE; Deep brain stimulation of the rat subthalamic nucleus is neuroprotective following large scale nigral dopamine neuronal degeneration; Neurobiol Dis. 2010 Jul; 39(1):105-15. Epub 2010 Mar 20.

Kordower JH, Hemraj DB, Kordower AM, Terpstra B, Madhavan, L, Paumier K, Sortwell C, Steece-Collier K, Collier T. Transfer of host-derived alpha synuclein to grafted dopaminergic neurons in rat; Neurobiol Dis. 2011 Sep; 43(3):552-7. Epub 2011 May 12.

Gombash SE, Lipton JW, Collier TJ, Madhavan, L, Steece-Collier K, Cole-Strauss A, Terpstra BT, Spieles-Engemann AL, Daley BF, Wohlgenant SL, Thompson VB, Manfredsson FP, Mandel RJ, Sortwell CE; Striatal overexpression of pleiotrophin provides functional and morphological neuroprotection in the 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinson's Disease; Mol Ther. 2012 Mar; 20(3):544-54. Epub 2011 Oct 18.

Madhavan, L, Daley BF, Sortwell CE, Collier TJ; Endogenous neural precursors influence grafted neural stem cells and contribute to neuroprotection in the Parkinsonian rat. Eur J Neurosci. 2012; Mar;35(6):883-95. Epub 2012 Mar 14.

Paumier KL, Siderowf AD, Auinger P, Oakes D, Madhavan, L, Espay AJ, Revilla FJ, Collier TJ; Tricyclic antidepressants delay the need for dopaminergic therapy in early Parkinson's disease: a retrospective cohort study. Mov Disord. 2012 Jun;27(7):880-7. Epub 2012 May 3.

  • Baroda Medical College, India