Dr Katakam

Prasad VG Katakam, MD PhD

(Andhra University , Visakhapatnam India, 1989)
(Univ of Georgia, Athens GA, 1999)


Associate Professor


Research Interests

  • Insulin Resistance: The major focus of our research is to study the mechanisms of vascular dysfunction in insulin resistance, a condition that precedes the development of diabetes. We use Zucker Obese rat as a model of obesity-induced insulin resistance.
  • Our laboratory studies cerebral, coronary, and mesenteric arteries. In addition, we study the impact of insulin resistance by evaluating the vascular responses following experimental stroke and heart attack in Zucker obese rats.
  • Impaired vascular actions of insulin and abnormal ER-mitochondrial communication in insulin resistance are two major areas of investigation we pursue in our laboratory.
  • We are also investigating the role nitric oxide synthase isoforms in regulating the brain microvascular function and Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) integrity in health and in stroke.
  • The techniques we employ include isolated artery (ex vivo) preparations often combined with laser confocal microscopy. We measure arterial diameter changes in response to various pharmacological agents including insulin. In addition, utilizing fluoroprobes, we determine the real-time dynamic changes in calcium, nitric oxide, superoxide, mitochondrial membrane potential in live cells.  We make use of endothelial cells and neurons from primary cultures as well as isolated mitochondrial preparations from brain. Functional experiments are supported by the biochemical and molecular biology techniques such as western blotting and PCR.
  • Our studies also make use of Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyzer for measuring mitochondrial function of endothelial cells. In addition, we examine the role of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in vascular signaling by utilizing electron spin resonance spectroscopy (Bruker Biospin e-scan).

Academic Training

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.,B.S): Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India (1989).
  • Master of Science (MS) in Pharmacology: University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (1995).
  • MD: Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1995).
  • Clinical Fellowship in Cardiac Rehabilitation: West Roxbury VA Medical Center, Affiliate of Harvard Medical School (1996).
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in Pharmacology: University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia (1999).
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa (1999-2001).
  • Research Associate in Electrophysiology: Cardiovascular Sciences, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota (2001-2003).
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship: Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Faculty Appointments

  • Instructor: Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (2010-2011).
  • Assistant Professor: Department of Pharmacology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana (2011-present).


Department of Pharmacology 8683, Tulane University School of Medicine, 1430 Tulane Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70112-2699. tel 504-988-1426; fax 504-988-5283.



Pubmed listing of Dr. Katakam's research publications.

1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-83, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-988-5444