Postdoctoral Research Associate
Duke University, USA
Richa Hanamsagar Bachelor’s in Pharmacy at the University of Pune, India in 2008. Soon after, she moved to the United States for my PhD in Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha. Here, she studied the role on inflammasome in microglia during Staphylococcus aureus-induced central nervous system infections under the expert guidance of Dr. Tammy Kielian. After graduating from UNMC in 2013, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Staci Bilbo as a post-doctoral researcher, where she continue to study the role of microglia in the context of sex differences during CNS development and its relevance to neurodevelopmental disorders. she is interested in studying the role of early life immune challenge on development of psychiatric disorders later in life such as depression, anxiety and learning disabilities as well as autism. she is also interested in elucidating the molecular pathways involved in microglial control of neuronal activity such as synaptic pruning and how this may be different between sexes.
There are distinct sex differences in the incidence, presentation, pathology and recovery of several neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases. My focus is the immune cells of the brain – microglia – and how they contribute to these sex differences. It is well-known that neuroinflammation brought about by overt activation of microglia during CNS pathology leads to neuronal cell death and worsening outcomes. How the function or activation of microglia differs between males and females is known. I am interested in finding out the molecular basis for microglial sex differences over normal CNS development as well as during pathology and how this may impact disease outcome.