Principal Investigator

Dr. Girish C. Melkani

Associate Professor
Department of Pathology
UAB Heersink School of Medicine | Biomedical Research Building-II, #436
Phone: 205-996-0591, Email: girishmelkani@uabmc.edu


Archana Yadav, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Archana earned her PhD in neurotoxicology from the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research (CSIR-IITR), Lucknow, India. She has qualified prestigious national examination-Graduation Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) and the National Eligibility Test (NET) pre-requisite for PhD. She was honored with the Junior Research Fellowship and Senior Research Fellowship from the University Grants Commission (UGC) and CSIR, India. During her doctoral, Dr. Archana investigated the mechanisms underlying pesticide-induced apoptosis and secondary signaling molecules in Polymorphonuclear Leukocytes (PMNs). Her pioneering research offers a pathway towards the early detection of pesticide-induced dopaminergic neuron degeneration, utilizing PMNs as a prognostic blood cell biomarker. Her PhD work have been acknowledged by esteemed organizations such as the Society for Leukocyte Biology (SLB), USA, the European Conference on Neuroinflammation (ECN), and the Indian Society of Hematology, resulted in numerous prestigious awards for her outstanding work.

Archana joined Dr. Melkani’s Lab, with expertise in neurodegenerative diseases is advantageous for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) models. She will focus on investigating the dysbiosis-induced gut-to-brain signaling observed in Drosophila models of AD. Archana’s research aims to uncover the underlying causative factors of dysbiosis, potentially by reducing antennal nerve and/or enteroendocrine cell-to-neuron communication. Additionally, she will assess the impact of these perturbations on dysbiosis-related neuroinflammation and AD-related dysfunction.


Contact: archanayadav@uabmc.edu


Kishore Madamanchi, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr.Kishore Madamanchi earned his Ph.D. in Neuroscience, specializing in Epilepsy and Neurodegeneration, from the Department of Biotechnology and Bioinformatics at the University of Hyderabad, India. Throughout his doctoral studies, his research primarily delved into understanding the implications of Dopamine and Glutamate-induced excitotoxicity, histone methylation, and their effects on phase II detoxifying enzymes, antioxidant mechanisms, as well as the significance of unfolded protein (UFP) aggregates in epilepsy, and their correlation with seizure recurrence particularly in cases of Focal cortical dysplasia and hippocampal sclerosis, During this period, he successfully developed an epilepsy rat model with reduced mortality rates, facilitating investigations into the influence of dopamine regulation on seizure severity. Currently, Dr. Kishore has joined Malkani’s lab, where he focuses on exploring the impact of Alzheimer’s disease pathology on the Gut microbiome, disease severity, and neuroinflammation. He employs the Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit fly) model for this research, examining circadian rhythm disruption’s effects in neuropathology models.

Contact: kmadaman@uabmc.edu



Farah Abou Daya, MS, GBS, Graduate Student

Farah’s project revolves around identifying the genetic link between insomnia and cardiovascular disease, using human genome studies and fly models. She is modulating Drosophila orthologs of causal human insomnia genes to outline biological pathways linking cardiovascular disease with insomnia. She is also testing if improved sleep through genetic, lifestyle, or small-molecule interventions improves cardiovascular function. 
Contact: farahad@uab.edu


Morgan Barkley, MS, GBS, Graduate Student


Contact: motb@uab.edu


Elizabeth S. Pasam, GMS, Researcher III

Elizabeth Sthuthi obtained her master’s in Biotechnology from UAB. She leverages her expertise in investing lipid metabolism, carbon cycles and its role in inter organ communication in drosophila.
Contact: epasam@uab.edu


Yash Melkani, Engineering Undergraduate at UC Berkeley & Researcher at the UAB

Yash is a Researcher I in the lab. He is developing software for performing automated analysis of high-speed Drosophila cardiac recordings. His research focuses on machine learning and computer vision techniques.
Contact: ymelkani@uab.edu


John Watson, BS Biomedical Sciences, Researcher II

As a Researcher II, John provides fluorescence microscopy imaging and analysis for lab wide projects. His work offers us visual data in areas of investigation such as, lipid metabolism, neurodegeneration, muscle dysfunction, and the microbiome. In addition to imaging, John is also familiar with other useful assays for our lab such as sleep/activity studies, memory impairment assessments, and flight indexing.
Contact: jowatson@uabmc.edu


Fatma Oduk, Researcher II

Fatma’s duties include coordinating lab duties on a daily and long-term basis. These lab coordinating duties include maintaining lab stocks, genetic crosses, ordering lab reagents, and complacence with lab safety. Fatma also helps with vital lab research projects, in association with PI and lab personnel.
Contact: foduk@uabmc.edu


Dave Melkani, Student Assistant and Undergraduate at Emory

Dave is pursuing his undergraduate degree in Applied Math and Computer Science at Emory University. Along with Yash and Aniket, his projects involve, building ethoscopes for Drosophila sleep/activity analysis and circadian behavior. He is initializing the installation of the ethoscope software through Linux (Arch Linux & Ubuntu) based command.


Lily Ober, Student Assistant & Undergraduate Bioengineering major

Lily works with Farah Abou Daya (Current doctoral candidate) on determining the genetic link between insomnia and cardiovascular disease. We aim to find the physiological link between the two using high-speed cardiovascular videography and the DAM system.


Dev Patel, Student Assistant & Undergraduate Neuroscience major

Dev is working with Farah Abou Daya (Current doctoral candidate), on a project which shows how genes for insomnia and cardiovascular disease are related to each other.


Srinath R. Gurrala, Student Assistant & MS


Jagathnarayan Madhanagopal, Student Assistant, Undergraduate, Premed, Cancer major

Jagathnarayan is working with Christopher Livelo (Current doctoral candidate) on skeletal muscle dysregulation associated with metabolic challenges. His work focused on making genetic crosses, maintaining stocks, and helping with muscle-related assays.


Nagavenkata Mayank Adabala, Undergraduate


Shipping Information

Fatma Oduk
Biomedical Research Building 2 (BMR2-442)
UAB Heetsink School of Medicine
901 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294
Lab Phone: 205-996-1784

Lab Alumni

  • Jonathan Roth, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow_recent Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, UAB
  • Ruan Moraes, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow_recent Postdoctoral Fellow, Neurobiology, UAB
  • Yiming Guo, MS, GBS, Graduate Student
  • Christopher Livelo, MS, GBS, Graduate Student
  • Aniket Pant, Engineering Undergraduate at Georgia Tech & Researcher at the UAB_recent researcher at Georgia Tech

Other Researchers

  • Brittney Xu, Undergraduate, Neuroscience major
  • Hailey Mao, Undergraduate, Neuroscience major
  • Jesus (Eric) Villanueva
  • Shruti Bhide
  • Shaana Chandran
  • Mary Doamekpor
  • Henry Ogbonna
  • Brendon Woodworth
  • Jay Vyas
  • Dalton Bannister
  • Shweta Varshney 
  • Ariel Docuyanan