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New investigator: Prasanta Kumar Dash, PhD

Image with caption: Prasanta Kumar Dash, PhD

Prasanta Kumar Dash, PhD

This profile is part of a series to highlight the researchers who will be honored at a ceremony for UNMC's 2020 Scientist Laureate, Distinguished Scientist and New Investigator Award recipients.

  • Name: Prasanta Kumar Dash, PhD
  • Title: Assistant professor, UNMC Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, College of Medicine
  • Joined UNMC: Fall 2008
  • Hometown: Nayagarh, Odisha, India

New Investigator Award

New Investigator Awards go to outstanding UNMC scientists who in the past two years have secured their first funding from the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense or other national sources. New investigators also had to demonstrate scholarly activity such as publishing their research and/or presenting their findings at national conventions.

Research focus:

  • HIV elimination

The goal of my research is:

  • To target HIV latent reservoirs (such as lymphoid, myeloid, peripheral and central nervous system) using multimodal approach for its complete elimination.
  • To develop ultrasensitive methods to detect infectious HIV from different body compartments for HIV cure validation.
  • To evaluate the genomic variability of rebound viruses that escape our treatment paradigm.

My research will make a difference because:

More than a year ago, we were the first group in the world to show HIV-1 elimination from a subset (30%) of infected animals using a combinatorial treatment approach. Our next aim is to improve the targeting strategy that can reach most of the reservoir compartments where the virus resides, recognize and excise it. Our ultimate goal is to find a cure for HIV-infected people.

The best advice I've ever been given is:

  • Put your best effort in what you do, but don't expect the outcome.
  • Stay grounded in spite of whatever you achieve.
  • Aim high but stay happy and be grateful to God for every abundance in your life.

Three things you may not know about me:

  • I am very close to my family.
  • I am a foodie.
  • I was awarded Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation International Fellowship in 2007 while studying in India.

Ceremony on Feb. 23

Matthew Rizzo, MD, Frances & Edgar Reynolds Chair and professor in the UNMC Department of Neurological Sciences, has been named the 15th UNMC Scientist Laureate. Dr. Rizzo will be honored, along with 22 other researchers recently named UNMC Distinguished Scientist, Research Leadership and New Investigator Award winners for 2020, during a virtual awards ceremony on Feb. 23 at 4:30 p.m.

Other awardees include:

Research Leadership

  • Maneesh Jain, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Ted Mikuls, MD, College of Medicine

Distinguished Scientists

  • Jesse Bell, PhD, College of Public Health
  • Vijaya Bhatt, MD, College of Medicine
  • Diana Florescu, MD, College of Medicine
  • Channabasavaiah Gurumurthy, MVSC, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Sarah Holstein, MD, PhD, College of Medicine
  • R. Katherine Hyde, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Robin Lally, PhD, College of Nursing
  • Hanjun Wang, MD, College of Medicine
  • Jingwei Xie, PhD, College of Medicine

New Investigators

  • Leah Cook, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Prasanta Dash, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Samikshan Dutta, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Bryant England, MD, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Kyle Hewitt, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Regina Idoate, PhD, College of Public Health
  • Bhavesh Kevadiya, PhD, College of Medicine
  • So-Youn Kim, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Anthony Podany, PharmD, College of Pharmacy
  • Matthew Van Hook, PhD, College of Medicine
  • David Warren, PhD, College of Medicine
  • Elizabeth Wellsandt, DPT, PhD, College of Allied Health Professions

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