Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD

Balaraman Kalyanaraman, PhD

Professor and Chair, Biophysics
Harry R. & Angeline E. Quadracci Professor in Parkinson’s Research
Founder, Free Radical Research Center

(414) 955-4000

Education & Background

  • Loyola College, University of Madras (Madras, India), BS, Chemistry (1970)
  • Indian Institute of Technology (Bombay, India), MS, Chemistry (1972)
  • University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL), PhD, Chemistry (1978)
  • National Institute of Environmental Sciences, Postdoctoral fellow in Chemistry (1981)

In 1981, I joined the Biophysics section of the Department of Radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin; in 1984, I became an assistant professor in the Department of Radiology; and in 1989, I became an associate professor in the Department of Biophysics. Currently, I am professor and chair of the Department of Biophysics. I have served as an associate editor for Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine, Free Radical Research, and Biochemical Journal.

Research Interests

My research interests are centered on the application of EPR in free radical biology and understanding the role of oxidants and antioxidants in signal transduction and apoptosis. My specific research areas are outlined below.

  • Chemistry and Biophysics
    • Detection of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species by EPR spin-trapping, fluorescence, optical stopped-flow, and HPLC techniques
    • Syntheses of mitochondrially targeted spin traps, spin labels, and ROS-specific fluorescence probes
    • EPR studies of mitochondria
  • Mechanism of Signal Transduction/Cell Signaling
    • Mitochondrial STAT3 and redox signaling
    • Oxidant-induced iron signaling and apoptosis
    • Chemotherapeutic drug toxicity and prevention (e.g., doxorubicin); mechanism of apoptosis in tumor cells and normal cells
  • Mechanism of Disease
    • Role of mitochondria-derived oxidants in chemically induced Parkinsonism (e.g., MPTP, rotenone) in cell culture and animal models; mechanism of protein aggregation, proteosomal dysfunction, and apoptotic neuronal cell death
    • Targeting of metabolism, bioenergetics, and redox signaling in cancer
    • Development of new mitochondria-targeted antitumor and antiproliferative drugs

Research Projects

  • Targeting Pancreatic Cancer Energy Metabolism, Tumor Growth, and Metastasis
    The overall goal of this project is to develop new therapeutic approaches to inhibit PDAC malignancy.
  • CYP2E1 Mediated Mitochondrial Injury and Cell Damage in Alcohol Liver Disease
    A major objective here is to investigate the mechanisms of alcohol induced mitochondrial dysfunction and develop antioxidants and enzyme inhibitors to minimize alcohol induced liver damage

Research Team

  • Gang Cheng, PhD (Research Scientist II)
  • Steve Komas, BS (Research Technologist I)
  • Donna McAllister (Research Associate)
  • Gopit Shah, PhD (Assistant Professor, Urologic Surgery)
  • Jacek Zielonka, PhD (Research Director, Free Radical Research Center)
  • Monika Zielonka (Research Technologist III)

Recent Publications


Related Links

PubMed Publications