Lohitash Karumbaiah Associate Professor Animal & Dairy Science
Portrait of Lohitash Karumbaiah

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Portrait of Lohitash Karumbaiah

Academic Profile

Dr. Lohitash Karumbaiah joined the Regenerative Bioscience Center and the faculty in the Department of Animal and Dairy Science at University of Georgia in 2013, where he is currently Associate Professor and director of the Translational Glycomaterials and Neural Repair Laboratory. After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2007, Dr. Karumbaiah went on to conduct postdoctoral research in neuroscience and neural tissue engineering under the mentorship of Professor Ravi Bellamkonda in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University School of Medicine. Research in the Karumbaiah lab at UGA has led to the development of the first ever tissue engineered glycomaterial - ‘brain glue’ for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries. His laboratory was also the first to demonstrate the use of an insulin excipient for treating Glioblastoma, which is an aggressive form of brain cancer. These innovative advancements in treating brain injuries and diseases have been featured on NPR, UGA Today, and other national and international science news agencies. Alongside research, Dr. Karumbaiah is also passionate about student training and skill development. He has successfully mentored several undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral trainees into research and industry positions in the US and abroad. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Karumbaiah worked on quality assurance, product development, and new product launch projects at Monsanto Company (now Bayer AG). He also served as study director for a medical device company seeking FDA approval for clinical use of its products.

B.Sc..,  Bangalore University, Bangalore, India
M.Sc.,  Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Ph.D.,   University of Georgia  

Description of Research Interests

The Karumbaiah lab is currently focused on developing novel glycomaterials that can regulate growth factor binding, stem cell maintenance, and neural tissue repair. These engineered materials have demonstrated exceptional functional brain repair potential after traumatic brain injury in preclinical animal models. Ongoing research in this area is focused on overcoming therapeutic delivery bottlenecks and developing clinically translatable strategies for the spectrum of traumatic brain injuries. Other previous work from the Karumbaiah lab has led to the development of therapeutic approaches to block brain tumor invasion. Ongoing research in this area is focused on elucidating mechanisms by which the brain tumor microenvironment promotes brain tumor invasion, and the development of in vitro tumor-on-chip platforms to evaluate the antitumor potency of tumor targeting single agents or combination therapeutics. His research is funded by federal research agencies and nonprofit foundations.

Awards and Activities

2024  CAES Alumni Award of Excellence, University of Georgia
2023  American Brain Tumor Alumni Network Annual Meeting – Planning Committee Member
2023  Appointed member of Bioengineering of Neuroscience and Vision Technologies (BNVT) NIH Study Section
2023  Student Career Success Influencer Award 2022, University of Georgia, Career Center
2020  UGA Faculty Innovation Fellow
2019  UGA Aspire Fellow
2017  Best Early-Stage Investigator Abstract Award, 12th World Congress on Brain Injury
2016  Southern Translational Education and Research (STaR) Young Investigator Award
2015  Editorial Board Member – Frontiers in Neuroscience, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology and Materials, and Scientific Reports

Program and Center Affiliations

UGA Regenerative Bioscience Center Program Faculty and Steering Committee Member
UGA Cancer Center Program Faculty Member
UGA Neuroscience Program Faculty Member
UGA Bio-Imaging Research Center – Associate Director of Animal Imaging
UGA NSF CMaT Engineering Research Center Site – Testbed 2 Co-Lead
Regenerative Engineering and Medicine Partnership – Executive Board Member

Courses Taught

RBIO 8220 -Primary instructor
RBIO 8240 -Guest lecturing
RBIO 3310 -Guest lecturing
BCMB4200 -Guest lecturing