Gajanan P. Shelkar is the Molecular Pharmacology Highlighted Trainee Author for the August 2019 issue. Dr. Shelkar is a postdoctoral research associate with the Pharmacology and Neuroscience program, Creighton University. His mentor is Dr. Shashank M. Dravid. The Molecular Pharmacology article that earned him selection as a Highlighted Trainee Author is titled “Modulation of Burst Firing of Neurons in Nucleus Reticularis of the Thalamus by GluN2C-containing NMDA Receptors” and is available at https://doi.org/10.1124/mol.119.116780.
Dr. Shelkar’s area of research are pharmacology and neuroscience. His current research is focused on understanding the role of GluN2C-containing NMDA receptors in neural circuitry related to mental disorders such as addiction and schizophrenia.
The anticipated impact of Dr. Shelkar’s research is that future studies utilizing the GluN2C-selective effects of AICP and related compounds may lead to newer therapeutic avenues for neurological disorders. Drugs that can selectively modulate the activity of GluN2C-containing receptors may produce unique effects on neural circuitry. We found that the novel and highly potent NMDA glycine-site agonist, AICP, reduced the spike frequency and burst firing of nRT neurons in a GluN2C-dependent manner. This effect can potentially be useful in the conditions like childhood absence epilepsy that may involve enhanced burst firing of neurons in the nRT.
When not in the lab, Gajanan enjoys playing volleyball, watching historical shows and inspirational interviews, and listening to spiritual music. He also enjoys cooking different dishes and sharing them with family and friends.