Bioengineering, Systems Biology, Glycosciences, Cell and Molecular Engineering, Human diseases.
Sriram Neelamegham is a UB Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering and Medicine at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. His laboratory applies molecular, cellular and tissue engineering principles to study complex biological and biomedical problems related to human health and disease.
Prof. Neelamegham has contributed substantially to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which white blood cells (leukocytes) and platelets in human blood, interact with other vascular cells in the context of human inflammatory diseases. In such work, his laboratory has identified many of the mechanisms by which such cell adhesion events take place under fluid flow or ‘hydrodynamic shear’. Prof. Neelamegham has also contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms by which fluid shear controls the structure of a large blood protein called von Willebrand factor (VWF). This is a critical glycoprotein that controls the rates of thrombosis and vessel occlusion in the stenosed arterial circulation and in biomedical implants.
In recent years, Prof. Neelamegham’s laboratory is focused on the emerging area of Systems Glycobiology, the study of how all living cells produce complex-sugars or glycans on their outer surface. Such biosynthesis dynamically regulates how cells interact with the extracellular milieu, and it is altered during disease. The focus here is on the study of biosynthetic steps and enzymatic mechanisms that regulate cellular glycosylation, using a combination of wet-lab high-throughput experimentation and dry-lab computational modeling. These studies are yielding: i. New molecular understanding on the role of glycans in diverse biological processes like human inflammatory diseases, thrombotic disorders, cancer and viral infections. ii. Novel small molecule antagonists that target glycosylation and prevent inappropriate leukocyte adhesion at sites of inflammation or reduce viral entry. iii. Glycoengineering strategies to target stem cells to sites where therapy is required, iv. Glycan-engineered technologies to enhance the half-life and efficacy of human protein therapies, and v. State-of-the art data science methods for the Systems Glycobiology field.
Prior to joining UB, Prof. Neelamegham received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, with specialization in Bioengineering, from Rice University in 1996. He then completed his post-doctoral training at the Baylor College of Medicine. Prof. Neelamegham is well published with over 140 research manuscripts, book chapters and patents in diverse areas related to Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and the Biomedical Sciences. He is a recipient of the NIH Independent Scientist award, 2015 State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities, 2018 Schoellkopf medal from the Western New York American Chemical Society and is an Elected Fellow of the American Institute of Biological and Medical Engineering (AIMBE, 2012) and Biomedical Engineering Society (2019). He has served on NIH advisory panels, editorial boards of various journals and is currently the Discussion Leader developing the Symbol Nomenclature for Glycans (SNFG) at the NCBI-glycans resource.