Dr. Poddar received her bachelor’s degree in Physiology from Calcutta University, India and her PhD in Neuroscience from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India. She completed her postdoctoral training from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Poddar joined the department of Neurology as an Assistant Professor (research) in 2005 and has developed a research program funded by NIH/NINDS. 


The primary focus of the Dr. Poddar’s research is to evaluate the role of hyperhomocysteinemia, a metabolic disorder characterized by systemic elevation of homocysteine, in the progression of age-associated neurological diseases. Recent findings from her laboratory provides compelling evidence that predisposition to even mild hyperhomocysteinemic conditions drastically exacerbates brain damage in both rat and mice models of ischemic stroke. This adverse effect hyperhomocysteinemia on ischemic stroke involves activation of a unique signaling pathway mediated through NR2A subunit containing NMDA receptor stimulation, which is generally thought to promote neuronal survival. Her laboratory is currently exploring:

  • Long-term pathological and behavioral outcome of ischemic insult under hyperhomocysteinemic condition.
  • Signaling mechanisms involved in hyperhomocysteinemia-induced exacerbation of ischemic injury.
  • Potential therapeutic targets to minimize the severity of ischemic brain damage under hyperhomocysteinemic conditions.

Dr. Poddar’s laboratory is also interested in understanding the pathological consequences of vascular dementia under hyperhomocysteinemic conditions. These projects utilize rodent models of ischemic stroke (middle cerebral artery occlusion) and hyperhomocysteinemia, genetic mice models of dementia, transgenic and knockout mice, magnetic resonance imaging, behavioral studies, tissue culture, pharmacology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microscopy and flow cytometry.