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VCU Pauley Heart Center

Physicians and staff

Kenneth Ellenbogen, MDAnindita Das, PhD


Born in India, Dr. Das earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with ancillaries in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal, India, followed by a Master of Science in Biochemistry from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal, India in 1988. She earned her PhD in Science from the University of Jadavpur in 1997.

Dr. Das immigrated to the U.S. in 1998 as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Radiation Biology. She established the important role of early growth response-1 protein in the regulation of radiation-induced growth suppression and apoptosis (programmed cell death) of prostate cancer cells. She continued her postdoctoral research at Ohio State University, before joining VCU in 2001 as a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and then in the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology. Dr. Das was appointed Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Cardiology, in 2007. She brings extensive knowledge and experience to the cardiovascular basic research labs.

Dr. Das’s major area of research is the investigation and development of novel pharmacological and genetic therapeutic approaches to reduce injury in the heart following myocardial ischemia (heart attacks). Her research goal is to study the molecular signaling pathways by which pharmacological preconditioning protects the heart following ischemia-reperfusion injury. She first investigated that Viagra (sildenafil), Phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, can empower the myocytes (heart cells) to cope with the damaging effects following a severe heart attack. Her work in this area has resulted in a Beginning Grant-in-Aid from the American Heart Association, Mid-Atlantic Affiliate, to investigate the Essential Role of Protein Kinase G in Sildenafil-induced Cardioprotection. The study is designed to demonstrate that there is a direct cause and effect relationship of protein kinase G and the cardioprotective effect of sildenafil in isolated mouse heart and in ventricular myocytes. The putative role of downstream signaling targets activated by sildenafil is also to be determined.

Dr. Das also is investigating the effect of FDA-approved and clinically safe phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor, sildenafil on chemotherapeutic efficacy of DOX in several cancers, including prostate cancer. She is studying whether sildenafil in vitro and in vivo could potentiate the antitumor activities of DOX in different human cancers.

Dr. Das has more than 30 articles published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Biological Chemistry, Circulation, and Journal of Molecular Cell Cardiology, and over two dozen presentations accepted at national and international conferences such as AHA Scientific Sessions and the Annual Meeting of the Radiation Research Society. She received the Radiation Research SocietyYoung Investigator’s Travel Award in 2000 and 2001.

She is a member of the American Heart Association-Council of Basic Cardiovascular Sciences and a past member of the American Association of Cancer Research Society and the Radiation Research Society. She has served as reviewer for several national and international biomedical journals, which include: American Journal of Physiology, Biochemical Pharmacology, Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy.


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