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Ravindar R. Thomas

Ravindar R. Thomas

Research Scientist


Kontos Building, Room 235
1217 East Marshall Street
Richmond, Virginia 23298

“This particular field attracted me because it’s a very new field, as far as gene therapy is concerned. Once I started the work, I really enjoyed it, because it’s totally new for me.”


Ph.D. in Entomology, Sambalpur University, Orissa, India


Gene therapy for neurodegenerative diseases; areas of specialization include: protein extraction and purification (especially using FPLC), mass culturing of bacteria using fermentation technology, isolation of individual neurons using Laser Capture Method from brain sections for down stream analysis, measuring real time mitochondrial respiration using Oxygraph, real time PCR, using animal model (especially rats/mice) for testing the impact of recombinant protein

Recent professional achievements

  • Contributed to the development of a scalable procedure to produce recombinant human mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) modified with an N-terminal protein transduction domain (PTD) and mitochondrial localization signal (MLS) that allow it to cross membranes and enter mitochondrial matrix
  • Initial success with experiments of recombinant human mitochondrial transcription factor A (TFAM) in mice (further experiments are going on)

Recent publications

  • Thomas RR, Khan SM, Smigrodzki RM, Onyango IG, Dennis J, Khan OM, Portelli FR, Bennett JP Jr. (2012). RhTFAM treatment stimulates mitochondrial oxidative metabolism and improves memory in aged mice. Aging. 2012 Sept;4(9):620-35.
  • Thomas RR, Keeney PM, Bennett JP Jr. (2012) Impaired complex-I mitochondrial biogensis in Parkinson disease frontal cortex. J. Parkinsons Dis. 2012;2(1):67-76.
  • Thomas RR, Khan SM, Portell FR, Smigrodzki RM, Bennett JP Jr. (2011). Recombinant human mitochondrial transcription factor A stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and ATP synthesis, improves motor function after MPTP, reduces oxidative stress and increases survival after endotoxin. Mitochondrion. 2011 Jan;11(1):108-18.
  • Keeney PM, Quigley CKK, Dunham LD, Papageorge CM, Iyer S, Thomas RR, Schwarz KM, Trimmer PA, Khan SM, Portell FR, Bergquist KE, Bennett JP Jr. (2009). Mitochondrial gene therapy augments mitochondrial physiology in a Parkinson's disease cell model. Hum Gene Ther. 2009 Aug; 20(8):897-907.
  • Iyer S, Thomas RR, Portell FR, Dunham LD, Quigley CK, Bennett JP Jr. Recombinant mitochondrial transcription factor A with N-terminal mitochondrial transduction domain increases respiration and mitochondrial gene expression. Mitochondrion. 2009 Jun; 9(3): 196-203.

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