Unable to get image from page properties or content. Will fall back to a default image.

Article has no nextliveshere tags assigned

Article has no topics tags assigned

Article has no colleges tags assigned

Article has no audiences tags assigned

Article has no units tags assigned

Contacts are empty

These messages will display in edit mode only.

Focus on Faculty With Nalinikanth Kotagiri, PhD

The James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy welcomes Nalinikanth Kotagiri, PhD, an assistant professor in the division of pharmaceutical sciences. Kotagiri is part of a cluster hire for the newly launched precision cancer initiative at the University of Cincinnati (UC). He will be working and collaborating with investigators from diverse fields within UC towards a common goal of providing novel, effective and safe strategies for managing cancer.

What is your background?

I trained as a medical doctor in India before moving to the United States for my doctoral studies in the pursuit of finding innovative solutions for curing human disease through original research. Fortunately for me, it was at a time when nanotechnology and medicine were beginning to find common ground and the field of nanomedicine was emerging. I joined the lab of Jin-Woo Kim, PhD, in the department of Biological Engineering at the University of Arkansas and explored the bio-interfacing of nanomaterials with biological molecules that led on to eventually studying their interaction with immune cells. This phase of my career opened up the world of materials science, inorganic chemistry, molecular biology, optics, and microfluidics, which further stimulated my interest in nanomedicine. I then joined the lab of Samuel Achilefu, PhD, in the department of radiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis for my postdoctoral training. There I was exposed to the field of nuclear physics and radiochemistry, which catalyzed the development of a novel strategy to perform tissue depth-independent phototherapy, without the aid of external lasers, using radiopharmaceuticals for high-precision cancer therapy. I hope to translate this technology to clinics in the near future and my focus at UC will be to develop advanced forms of this technology and go even further in scope and scale. All this wouldn’t have been possible without the support and guidance of my wonderful mentors who encouraged independent and out-of-the-box thinking while also serving as excellent role models.

Doe you have any particular area of research of education specialty, and why is it important to the field?  

Broadly speaking, I will be involved in the area of experimental cancer therapeutics and work towards the precision cancer initiative launched here at UC. Essentially it would mean to develop highly targeted and customized treatment strategies using innovative tools with the eventual goal of achieving complete cure from the disease. From a basic science point-of-view, I am hopeful that in the quest for finding novel ways to treat cancer effectively, the process will yield innovative tools to identify and image cancer mechanisms, molecular pathways and biomarkers that were previously unexplored and eventually lead to radical new technology platforms and concepts.

Why did you choose UC?

Often in the pursuit of effective cures the larger picture is neglected and when I first heard about the precision cancer cluster hire initiative at UC I thought it was a wonderful opportunity for investigators working in diverse fields to come together to address a common problem. This is a very unique program and probably one of its kind. I am also very excited about the newly launched Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center/UC Health Proton Therapy Center, which I believe is the only center that has a dedicated gantry for research. My research interests directly tie into it and I feel extremely fortunate to be part of the team. Besides research, Cincinnati seems like an ideal place to raise a family and have a lot of great things about the city and what it has to offer. We are excited to be here.

Do you have family with you here?

Yes, my wife Shruti and my daughter, Akira who is a toddler. We look forward to introducing her to a new animal, the mighty bearcat, this year.