​Krishnan V. Chakravarthy MD, PhD Research Lab

 The main goal of the Chakravarthy Lab is to study the pathophysiology and mechanisms of chronic pain in the context of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), diabetic neuropathy, persistent post-operative pain, and neuropathic pain.  Our lab also focuses how volatile anesthetics and various pain modulators affect host immunity to viral and bacterial infections. 

The three main areas of active investigation include:

  • Basic mechanisms of chronic pain: At present we are specifically studying the role of caveolins, inflammatory cytokine mediators, and mitochondria in the pathogenesis of chronic pain in settings of complex regional pain syndrome, neuropathic pain, persistent post-operative pain, TBI, and diabetic neuropathy. 

  • Effect of volatile anesthetics in mitigating susceptibility to secondary bacterial pneumonia post Influenza viral infection: Our laboratory is studying in an mouse model the effects of volatile anesthetics and their ability to down-modulate the type 1 IFN response to influenza infection resulting in increased antibacterial response to secondary bacterial pneumonia.  Based on the mechanisms deduced as to how volatile anesthetics work we are currently working on developing small molecule candidates as alternative vaccine and antibiotic treatment to seasonal and pandemic influenza.  This project is being currently done in conjunction with US Center for Disease Control.

  • Nanomedicine: Currently our laboratory is working on using various nanomaterials and biodegradable nanosystems to create new point of care diagnostics and targeted drug delivery technology for treating various chronic pain states and infectious disease applications.  We are actively collaborating with the UCSD Department of Nanoengineering.

Representative publications:                                                               

Doxorubicin conjugated quantum dots to target alveolar macrophages/inflammation.  Chakravarthy KV, Davidson BA, Helinski JD, Ding H, Law WC, Yong KT, Prasad PN, Knight PR. Nanomedicine. 2011 Feb;7(1):88-96.

Gold nanorod delivery of an ssRNA immune activator inhibits pandemic H1N1 influenza viral replication.  Chakravarthy KV, Bonoiu AC, Davis WG, Ranjan P, Ding H, Hu R, Bowzard JB, Bergey EJ, Katz JM, Knight PR, Sambhara S, Prasad PN.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Jun 1;107(22):10172-7.

MacDonald BA*, Chakravarthy KV*#, Davidson BA*, Mullan BA, Alluri R, Hakansson AP, Knight PR.  Halothane Modulates the Type I Interferon Response to Influenza and Minimizes the Risk of Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia through Maintenance of Neutrophil Recruitment in an Animal Model. Anesthesiology. 2015 Sep;123(3):590-602. *authors contributed equally #corresponding author

Chakravarthy K, Boehm F, Sanhai-madar W (July 05, 2016) Superseding the Hourglass Effect Toward the Successful Commercialization of Nanotechnology in the Medical Sciences – We Require a Change in Perspective. Cureus 8(7): e670. doi:10.7759/cureus.670.

Krishnan V. Chakravarthy, MD, PhD, Frank J. Boehm, Paul J. Christo, MD, MBA; Nanotechnology: A Promising New Paradigm for the Control of Pain. Pain Med 2017 pnx131. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnx131. 

In the News:

1. Gold Nanorods Deliver Antiviral Punch - Futurity

2. Quantum Dots Carry Drugs Sans Damage - Futurity 


4. Scientists Find New Benefit from Inhaled Anaesthetics to Effectively Combat Lung Infections - International Business Times. 


6. Study in Mice Suggests How Anesthesia May Fight Lung Infections - Johns Hopkins Medicine 

7. Combating Viral and Bacterial Lung Infections with Volatile Anesthetics: An Interview with Dr. Chakravarthy - News Medical Life Sciences