Ashok K. Shetty, PhD

Ashok K. Shetty, PhD

Professor, Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine

Associate Director, Institute for Regenerative Medicine

Research Career Scientist, Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System

Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine, Institute for Regenerative Medicine
240A Reynolds Medical Building
College Station, TX   77843-1114

Phone: 979.436.9653
Fax: 979.847.9481

Education and Post-Graduate Training

Ashok K. Shetty received his MS degree in Human Anatomy from Kasturba Medical College of Mysore University in 1983. He obtained his PhD in Neuroscience from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi in 1990. Following his postdoctoral research work at Duke University, Dr. Shetty joined the Division of Neurosurgery (Department of Surgery) at Duke University Medical Center as an Assistant Professor in 1995. He became Associate Professor in 1999 and held the position of Professor from 2004 to 2011. Dr. Shetty joined the faculty at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center in July 2011.

Dr. Shetty has received continuous extramural research funding as Principal Investigator for over 21 years from sources such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Dr. Shetty has so far authored 127 peer-reviewed publications and his work has appeared in many top class journals including Molecular Psychiatry, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS, USA), Neuropsychopharmacology, Journal of Neuroscience, Stem Cells, Aging Cell, Progress in Neurobiology, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Neurobiology of Aging, Neurobiology of Disease, Experimental Neurology, Neurotherapeutics, Stem Cells Translational Medicine and Nature Scientific Reports. Dr. Shetty has received over 7,800 citations (with an h-index of 50) for his published research articles.

Dr. Shetty has the distinction of serving on two different NIH Study Sections as Chartered Member. These include Clinical Neuroplasticity and Neurotransmitters study section panel (Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience ZRG1) from 2004-2008, and Developmental Brain Disorders study section panel (Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience IRG) from 2010-2016. In addition, he has served as an ad-hoc member of over 35 other study section panels of NIH, Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program of DoD, Maryland State Stem Cell Research Fund, New York State Stem Cell Research Fund and Henry M. Jackson Foundation Regenerative Medicine Program of NIH and DoD. He has also served as reviewer of grant applications for over 12 international funding agencies from Germany, France, England, Israel, India and Singapore.

Dr. Shetty is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Aging and Disease, and Associate Editor of 6 journals (Frontiers in Neuroscience, Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, Frontiers in Neurology, Molecular and Cellular Epilepsy, Neurogenesis and Journal of Experimental Neuroscience).  Dr. Shetty is also a Member of the Editorial Board for many other international journals, which include Stem Cells, Aging CellFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Frontiers in Pharmacology, and Cell Transplantation.  Dr. Shetty is Fellow of the American Society for Neural Transplantation and Repair.

Research Interests

 Shetty’s laboratory is interested in developing clinically applicable strategies that are efficacious for enhancing brain function after injury, disease or aging. The central areas of investigation include the following topics.

     (1) Mechanisms by which intranasally administered exosomes (extracellular vesicles) derived from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) or human neural stem cells (hNSCs) promote neuroprotection, neuroregeneration, neural plasticity and alleviate neuroinflammation in models of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Status Epilepticus (SE), Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE) and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

     (2) Mechanisms by which transplanted hNSCs or GABA-ergic precursor cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) promote brain repair, and ease spontaneous seizures, cognitive impairments and mood dysfunction in prototypes of SE, TLE, and TBI.

    (3) Elucidating mechanisms of brain dysfunction in prototypes of Gulf War Illness. Developing therapeutic strategies to alleviate neuroinflammation, increased oxidative stress, systemic inflammation, and learning, memory and mood impairments in models of Gulf War Illness (GWI).

    (4) Developing clinically feasible strategies for improving hippocampal neurogenesis, and memory and mood function in aging and AD models via stimulation of endogenous neural stem/progenitor cells in neurogenic regions of the brain using drugs and biologics.

    (5) Characterizing promising neuroprotective compounds and drugs, for their usefulness to block chronic epilepsy development after an initial precipitating injury such as status epilepticus, penetrating traumatic brain injury (TBI) and mild TBI induced by repeated mild concussions or exposure to blast shock waves.



Curriculum Vitae

Google Scholar Citations


Turmeric may ease Gulf War illness for vets KNOWRIDGE Science Report, May 2018

Preventing seizure-caused damage to the brain Vital RECORD (Texas A&M HSC News), April 2017

Nasal spray may limit brain damage from seizures, April 2017

Modeling Gulf War illness: Knowing the cause of brain dysfunction is key to finding a cure Science Daily, June 2017

Exercise Boosts Brain Health, but is there a Downside? THE NEW YORK TIMES, August 2016

Exercise & Neurogenesis: The Effects of Running on Memory INSITE Magazine, October 2016

Neural Stem Cells May Have Potential to Regenerate Memory in Old Brains THE SCIENCE EXPLORER, June 2016

Could neural stem cells regenerate memory in the aging brain? Regenerative Medicine Network, June 2016

Compound found in grapes, red wine may help prevent memory loss  Vital RECORD (Texas A&M HSC News), January 2015

Hippocampal Stem Cell Grafts Reportedly Improve Mood and Memory in Rats - Neurology Today, October 2012


Selected Publications

      • Kodali M, Hattiangady B, Shetty G, Bates A, Shuai B, Shetty, AK (2018): Curcumin Treatment Leads to Better Cognitive and Mood Function in a Model of Gulf War Illness with Enhanced Neurogenesis, and Alleviation of Inflammation and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in the Hippocampus. Brain, Behavior and Immunity. 69:499-514, 2018.
      • Upadhya U, Castro, OW, Upadhya R, Shetty AK (2018): Prospects of Cannabidiol for Easing Status Epilepticus Induced Epileptogenesis and Related Co-morbidities. Molecular Neurobiology, In press, 2018.
      • Long Q, Upadhya D, Hattiangady B, Kim DK, An SY, Shuai B, Prockop DJ, Shetty AK (2017) Intranasal MSC-derived A1-exosomes ease inflammation and prevent abnormal neurogenesis and memory dysfunction after status epilepticus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), USA. Apr 25;114(17): E3536-E3545, 2017.
      • Shetty G, Hattiangady B, Upadhya D, Bates A, Attaluri S, Shuai B, Kodali M, Shetty AK (2017) Chronic oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, Nrf-2 activation and inflammation in the hippocampus accompany heightened systemic inflammation and oxidative stress in Gulf war illness. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. Jun 14;10:182. 2017.
      • Shetty AK, Hattiangady B (2016): Grafted subventricular zone neural stem cells display robust engraftment and similar differentiation properties and form new neurogenic niches in the young and aged hippocampus. Stem Cells Translational Medicine. 5:1204-15.
      • Kodali M, Megahed T, Mishra V, Shuai B, Hattiangady B, Shetty AK (2016): Voluntary running exercise mediated enhanced neurogenesis does not obliterate retrograde spatial memory. Journal of Neuroscience. 36:8112-8122.
      • Upadhya D, Hattiangady B, Shetty GA, Zanirati G, Kodali M, Shetty AK (2016): Neural stem cell or human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived GABA-ergic progenitor cell grafting in an animal model of chronic temporal lobe epilepsy. Current Protocols in Stem Cell Biology. Aug 17; 38: 2D.7.1-2D.7.47. 2016.
      • Shetty AK, Upadhya D (2016): GABA-ergic cell therapy for epilepsy: Advances, Limitations and Challenges. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 62:35-47.
      • Kim DK, Nishida H, An SY,Shetty AK, Bartosh TJ, Prockop DJ (2016). Chromatographically isolated CD63+CD81+ extracellular vesicles from mesenchymal stromal cells rescue cognitive impairments after TBI. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 113: 170-175.
      • Mishra V, Shuai B, Kodali M, Shetty GA, Hattiangady B, Rao X, Shetty AK (2015): Resveratrol treatment after status epilepticus restrains neurodegeneration and abnormal neurogenesis with suppression of oxidative stress and inflammation. Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group), 5:17807; Dec 7.
      • Agadi S, Shetty, AK (2015): Prospects of Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Treating Status Epilepticus and Chronic Epilepsy. Stem Cells, 33:2093-2103.
      • Kodali M, Parihar V, Hattiangady B, Mishra V, Shuai B,Shetty AK (2015): Resveratrol prevents age-related memory and mood dysfunction with increased hippocampal neurogenesis and microvasculature and reduced glial activation. Scientific Reports (Nature Publishing Group), 5:8075; Jan 28, 2015.
      • Shetty AK, Mishra V, Kodali M, Hattiangady B (2014): Blood brain barrier dysfunction and delayed neurological deficits in mild traumatic brain injury induced by blast shock waves. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 8:232, eCollection.
      • Hattiangady B, Mishra V, Kodali M, Shuai B, Rao, X, Shetty AK (2014): Object location and object recognition memory impairments, motivation deficits and depression in a model of Gulf War illness. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8:78, eCollection.
      • Parihar VK, Hattiangady B, Shuai B, Shetty AK (2013): Mood and memory deficits in a model of Gulf war illness are linked with reduced neurogenesis, partial neuron loss and mild inflammation in the hippocampus. Neuropsychopharmacology, 38: 2348-2362.
      • Watanabe J, Shetty AK, Hattiangady B, Kim DK, Foraker JE, Nishida H, Prockop DJ (2013) Administration of TSG-6 improves memory after traumatic brain injury in mice. Neurobiology of Disease, 59:86-99.
      • Shetty GA, Hattiangady B, Shetty AK (2013): Neural stem cell- and neurogenesis-related gene expression profiles in the young and aged dentate gyrus. AGE, 35: 2165-2176.
      • Hattiangady B, Shetty AK (2012) Neural stem cell grafting counteracts hippocampal injury-mediated impairments in mood, memory and neurogenesis. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 1:696-708.
      • Parihar VK, Hattiangady B, Kuruba R, Shuai B, Shetty AK (2011): Predictable chronic mild stress improves mood, hippocampal neurogenesis and memory. Molecular Psychiatry, 16, 171-183.
      • Shetty AK (2011): Progress in Cell Grafting Therapy for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Neurotherapeutics, 8(4): 721-735.
      • Hattiangady B, Kuruba R, Shetty, AK (2011): Acute seizures in old age leads to a greater Loss of CA1 pyramidal neurons, an increased propensity for developing chronic TLE and a severe cognitive dysfunction, Aging and Disease , 2:1-17.
      • Shetty AK (2011): Promise of resveratrol for easing status epilepticus and epilepsy. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 131 (3), 269-286.
      • Waldau B, Hattiangady B, Kuruba R, Shetty AK (2010): Medial ganglionic eminence-derived neural stem cell grafts ease spontaneous seizures and restore GDNF expression in a rat model of chronic temporal lobe epilepsy. Stem Cells, 28, 1153-1164.
      • Hattiangady B, Shetty, AK (2010) Decreased neuronal differentiation of newly generated cells underlies diminished neurogenesis in chronic temporal lobe epilepsy. Hippocampus, 20:97-112.
      • R. Kuruba, Hattiangady B, Shetty AK (2009): Hippocampal neurogenesis and neural stem cells in chronic temporal lobe epilepsy, Epilepsy & Behavior, 14 Suppl 1:65-73.
      • Shetty AK, Hattiangady B, Rao MS (2009): Vulnerability of hippocampal GABA-ergic interneurons to kainate induced excitotoxic injury during old age. Journal of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, 13(8B):2408-2423, 2009.
      • Hattiangady B, Rao MS, Shetty AK (2008): Grafting of Striatal Precursor Cells into Hippocampus Shortly after Status Epilepticus Restrains Chronic Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Experimental Neurology. 212:468-481
      • Hattiangady B, Rao MS, Shetty AK (2008): Plasticity of hippocampal stem/progenitor cells to enhance neurogenesis in response to injury is lost by middle age, Aging Cell, 7:207-224.
      • Hattiangady B, Shetty AK (2008): Aging Does not Alter the Number or Phenotype of Putative Stem/Progenitor Cells in the Neurogenic Region of the Hippocampus. Neurobiology of Aging, 29:129-147.
      • Waldau B, Shetty AK (2008) Behavior of Neural Stem Cells in the Alzheimer's Brain, Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences , 65:2372-84.
      • Acharya M, Hattiangady B, Shetty AK (2008): Progress in neuroprotective strategies for preventing epilepsy. Progress in Neurobiology, 84:363-404.
      • Dhanushkodi A, Shetty AK (2008): Is exposure to enriched environment beneficial for functional post-lesional recovery in TLE? Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 32:657-674.
      • Hattiangady B, Shuai B, Cai J, Coksaygan T, Rao MS,Shetty AK (2007): Increased dentate neurogenesis after grafting of glial restricted progenitors or neural stem cells in the aging hippocampus. Stem Cells, 25:2104-2117.
      • Shetty AK and Hattiangady B (2007): Prospects of Stem Cell therapy for Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. Stem Cells, 25:2396-2407.
      • Rao MS, Hattiangady B, Shetty AK (2006): The window and mechanisms of major age related decline in the production of new neurons within the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. Aging Cell, 5:545-558.
      • Shetty AK, Zaman V, Hattiangady B (2005): Repair of the injured adult hippocampus through graft-mediated modulation of the plasticity of the dentate gyrus in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Journal of Neuroscience, 25: 8391-8401.
      • Shetty AK, Hattiangady B, Shetty GA (2005): Stem/progenitor cell proliferation factors FGF-2, IGF-1, and VEGF exhibit early decline during the course of aging in the hippocampus: role of astrocytes, Glia, 51:173-186.
      • Abdel-Rahman, A, Rao MS,Shetty, AK (2004): Aging impairs the response of astrocytes to neurodegeneration and deafferentation in the hippocampus Glia, 47: 299-313, 2004.
      • Shetty AK (2004): Progenitor cells from the CA3 region of the E19 rat hippocampus generate region-specific neuronal phenotypes in vitro. Hippocampus, 14: 595-614, 2004.
      • Shetty AK, Zaman V, Shetty G (2003): Hippocampal neurotrophin levels in a kainate model of temporal lobe epilepsy: a lack of correlation between BDNF content and progression of aberrant dentate mossy fiber sprouting. Journal of Neurochemistry, 87: 147-159, 2003.
      • Shetty AK (2002): Entorhinal axons exhibit aberrant sprouting in CA1 subfield of the adult hippocampus after CA3-lesion. Hippocampus, 12: 534-542, 2002.
      • Shetty AK,Turner DA (2001): Glutamic acid decarboxylase positive hippocampal interneurons undergo a permanent reduction in number following kainic acid induced destruction of CA3 pyramidal neurons. Experimental Neurology. , 169: 276-297, 2001.
      • Shetty AK and Turner DA (2000): Fetal hippocampal transplants containing CA3 cells restore host hippocampal interneuron numbers in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy.Journal of Neuroscience, 20: 8788-8801, 2000.