Roy, Avik

Milwaukee Institute for Drug Discovery (MIDD)

Avik Roy received his PhD in Neuroscience from Rush University Medical Center, Chicago. His primary research interest is identifying molecular targets and designing small molecular drugs against neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. He has demonstrated that the loss of function in the bpoz2 gene plays a crucial role in the development of Lewy body pathology causing the death of DA neurons. His pioneering work in deciphering the role of an ankyrin repeat-rich protein BPOZ2 in the amelioration of alpha-synuclein pathology was awarded Rapid Response Innovation Award by the Michael J Fox Foundation of Parkinson's disease. His quest to decode the biological role of the bpoz2 gene eventually achieved a new dimension when a 9-year-old boy with a homozygous point mutation in the bpoz2 gene was reported to have abnormal gait with severe movement deficit.  He is working on this clinical case with multiple funding from different sources. As an assistant professor at Rush Medical College, Dr. Roy published more than 65 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Nature Chemical Biology, Cell Metabolism, Cell Reports, PNAS, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Science Signaling, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Immunology, and Journal of Biological Chemistry. He is the recipient of numerous national and international awards including the JE Trufant Excellence in Research Award conferred by Rush Graduate College, the Young Investigator Educational Enhancement Award presented by American Society for Neurochemistry, RRIA award by MJF Foundation, Certificate of Merit by Indian Institute of Chemical Biology and many more.  In order to pursue his long-term research interest to develop cutting-edge molecular therapies against various metabolic disorders, he left Rush 2020 to form Sotira Scientific, a BioTech company with three other partners. His discovery of KeptideTM, an intranasal therapeutic for COVID-19, received a fast-track non-provisional patent (#11,078,242)in 2021. He has also secured a patent ( # 10,617,664) for three memory-inducing drugs that can improve the hippocampal function of memory and learning.   Since 2021, he is serving as chief scientific officer at Simmaron Research INC, where he is continuing his scientific journey to decode the molecular mechanism of chronic neuroinflammatory diseases. He is also an associate editor in the Journal of Alzheimer's disease for the year 2022.

Research Interest: Metabolic impairments in neurons, microglia, astroglia, and neural stem cells contribute to the pathogenesis of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Intracellular abnormalities such as defective mitochondrial metabolism, impairment of autophagy, misfolding of α-synuclein, aggregation of amyloid-β, and deficit in neuronal plasticity directly regulate the loss of neuronal function resulting in neuromotor and neurocognitive impairments. Roylab is interested to apply an array of biochemical strategies to understand the molecular mechanism of neurocognitive disorders.  Recently, our research identified Atg13, a regulator of early autophagy vesicle formation, that becomes metabolically defective in ME/CFS patients that directly contributes to the ROS and RNS production in microglial cells.

Publications (10 selected in last 10 years):

  1. Gottschalk G, Peterson D, Knox K, Maynard M, Whelan RJ and Roy A. Elevated ATG13 in serum of patients with ME/CFS stimulates oxidative stress response in microglial cells via activation of receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE)Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 2022:103731.
  2. Roy A, Kundu M, Chakrabarti S, Patel D, Pahan K. Oleamide, a sleep-inducing supplement, upregulates doublecortin in hippocampal progenitor cells via PPARα. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease 2021.
  3. Patel D, Roy A, Kundu M, Jana M, Pahan K. Aspirin binds to PPAR-alpha and protects synaptic plasticity and memory. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2018.
  4. Rangasamy SB, Roy A, Jana M, Corbett GT*, Kundu M, Chandra G, Dasarathi S, Mondal S, Mufson E, Bennett D, Pahan K Selective disruption of TLR2-MyD88 interaction inhibits inflammation and attenuates Alzheimer’s pathology. J Clin Invest 2018.
  5. Kundu, M., Roy, A. & Pahan, K. 2017. Selective neutralization of IL-12 p40 monomer induces death in prostate cancer cells via IL-12–IFN-γ.Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017.
  6. Roy A, Kundu M, Jana M, Mishra R, Yeni Y, Luan CH, Gonzalez F, Pahan K. Identification and Characterization of Endogenous Ligands of PPARα in Hippocampus. Nature Chemical Biology 2016.
  7. Rangasamy S, Pahan K, Kundu M and Roy A*. BPOZ-2 Gene Therapy Ameliorates Alpha-Synucleinopathy in A53T Transgenic Mouse Model of Parkinson's disease. Scientific reports 2016.
  8. Roy A, Jana M, Kundu M, Corbett G, Rangasamy S, Mishra R, Luan CH, Gonzalez F, Pahan K. HMG CoA reductase inhibitors upregulate neurotrophins in brain cells via PPARα. Cell Metabolism 2015.
  9. Roy A, Jana M, Corbett G, Ramaswamy S, Kordower JH, Gonzalez F, Pahan K. Regulation of cyclic AMP response element binding and hippocampal plasticity-related genes by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α. Cell Reports 2013.
  10. Ghosh A, Roy A, Liu X, Kordower JH, Mufson EJ, Hartley DM, Ghosh S, Mosley RL, Gendelman HE, Pahan K. Selective inhibition of NF-kappa B activation prevents dopaminergic neuronal loss in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2007; 104(47):18754-9.

Total Publications: 65


Google Scholar: ( h-index: 29 and i10 index: 41)