Prof. Geeta K Vemuganti

School of Medical Sciences,
University of Hyderabad

Dr Geeta Vemuganti joined to lead and develop the fledgling School of Medical Sciences at the University of Hyderabad in December 2010 after a long stint as Head of Ophthalmic Pathology Laboratory and Head of Sudhakar and Sreekant Ravi Stem Cell Biology Laboratory at the renowned L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad. She holds several honorary positions, including an adjunct professorship of ophthalmology in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, USA. She also served as Chair of the Program Committee, of the AP section and Global Member Committee of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), and President, Indian Society of Ophthalmic Pathology Indian Society of Ophthalmic Pathology, among other professional and academic affiliations. Dr Vemuganti earned her basic medical degree at the JLN Medical College, Ajmer before completing her MD in Pathology at the Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences. She has had advanced training in ocular pathology at the Doheny Eye Institute, Los Angeles, USA and has been a visiting pathologist at the Eye and Ear Infirmary and Department of Pathology, University of Illinois, Chicago. She has published widely, authoring more than papers in journals of international repute. She is also a recipient of several national and international awards including the recent Senior Achievement award by American Academy of Ophthalmology and Fellow, ARVO. Dr Vemuganti has received many prestigious academic as well as research grants from national and international agencies and has guided many doctoral students in both basic and applied research projects

Research Areas

Her experience and expertise is in the area of ocular tumours and stem cell biology, where she has contributed cutting edge research that has led to bench-to-bedside applications. Her current research focuses on cancer stem cells in Retinoblastoma, new animal models, role of mesenchymal stem cells in Leprosy and human lacrimal gland cultures.

Selected Publications

  1. Chévez-Barrios P, Eagle RC, Krailo M, Piao J, Albert D, Xia C,  Gao Y, Vemuganti G, Javed A, Khetan V,  Honavar  SG, O’Brien J, Leahey A,  Matthay K,  Meadows A, Chintagumpala M.A Study of Unilateral Retinoblastoma With and Without Histopathologic High-Risk Features and the Role of Adjuvant Chemotherapy-A Children’s Oncology Group (COG) study. J of Clin Oncology ( accepted for publication)
  2. Tiwari S, Nair RM, Vamadevan P, Ali MJ, Naik MN, Honavar SG, Vemuganti GK.Establishing and characterizing lacrispheres from human lacrimal gland for potential clinical application. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2018 Apr;256(4):717-727
  3. A Nair RM, Balla MMS, Khan I, Kalathur, RKR, Kondaiah P, Vemuganti GK. In vitro characterization of CD133lo Cancer stem cells in Retinoblastoma Y79 cell line. BMC Cancer. 2017 Nov 21;17(1):779. 
  4. Kirkegaard MM, Rasmussen PK, Coupland SE, Esmaeli B, Finger PT, Graue GF, Grossniklaus HE, Honavar SG, Khong JJ, McKelvie PA, Mulay K, Prause JU, Ralfkiaer E, Sjö LD, Toft PB, Vemuganti GK, Thuro BA, Curtin J, Heegaard S. Conjunctival Lymphoma-An International Multicenter Retrospective Study. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016 Feb 18.
  5. Tiwari S, Bhatt A, Nagamodi J, Ali MJ, Ali H, Naik MN, Reddy VAP, Vemuganti GK. Aqueous Deficient Dry Eye Syndrome Post Orbital Radiotherapy: A 10-Year Retrospective Study. Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2017 Jun 15;6(3):19.
  6. Tiwari S, Ali MJ, Balla MM, Naik MN, Honavar SG, Reddy VA, Vemuganti GK. Establishing human lacrimal gland cultures with secretory function. PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29458.
  7. Sangwan VS, Basu S, Vemuganti GK, Kunjal S, Subramaniyam S, Sannapaneni K, Gaddipati S, Tiwari S, Dorairajan B. Clinical Outcome of Xeno-Free Autologus Cultivated Limbal Epithelial Transplantation: A Ten Year study. Br J Ophthalmol. 2011 Nov;95(11):1525-9
  8. Mariappan I, Maddileti S, Savy S, Tiwari S, Gaddipati S, Fatima A, Sangwan VS, Balasubramanian D, Vemuganti GK In vitro culture and expansion of human limbal epithelial cells. Nat Protoc. 2010 Aug;5(8):1470-9. Epub 2010 Jul 29.
  9. Manderwad GP, Gopinathan G, Khosla S, Vemuganti GK, Kannabiran C, Honavar SH. Hypomethylation of the DNMT3L Promoter in Ocular Surface Squamous Neoplasia (OSSN) Arch Pathol Lab Med. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010 Aug;134(8):1193-6.
  10. Balla MM, Vemuganti GK, Kannabiran C, Honavar SG, Murthy R.  Phenotypic Characterization of Retinoblastoma for the Presence of Putative Cancer Stem-like Cell markers by Flow Cytometry. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Nov 21.
  11. Polisetty N, Fatima N, Madhira S, Sangwan VS, Vemuganti GK. Mesenchymal cells from limbal stroma of the eye. Mol Vis. 2008 Mar 4;14:431-42
  12. Vemuganti GK, Naik M, Honavar SG, GC Shekar. Rapid Intraoperative Diagnosis of Tumors of the Eye and Orbit by Squash and Imprint Cytology. Ophthalmology 2004 May;111(5):1009-1015.
  13. Vemuganti GK, Kashyap S, Sangwan VS, Singh S. Ex-vivo potential of cadaveric and fresh limbal tissues to regenerate cultured epithelium. Indian J Ophthalmol 2004;52:113-20.
  14. Vemuganti GK, Garg Prashant, Gopinathan U, Naduvilath TJ, John RK, Rajeev B, Rao GN. Evaluation of agent and host factors in progression of Mycotic keratitis: a histological and microbiological study of 167 buttons. Ophthalmology 2002 Aug;109(8):1538-1546.

Research Projects

  1. SERB grant on “Exploring the potential of lacrimal gland stem cells in restoring the damaged function through cell therapy”. Approved.
  2. Erasmus Plus grant on Optometry Curriculum Update for Lifelong Learning through Erasmus (OCULUS) by European Union.
  3. Chick Embryo in vivo xenograft model for Ocular Cancer studies- UGC-UKIERI award.
  4. Restoration of myelination in leprosy by bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs): In-vitro and Ex-vivo Evaluation- ICMR project

Invited talks

  1. Invited to deliver a talk at the NASA Ames Research Centre, California, 8th May 2019
  2. Invited talk at WOC, Bangkok, Feb 2019
  3. Member of Consensus and Editorial Board Meeting of International Agency for Cancer Research, WHO on Classification of Eye Tumors, at Lyon, France, January 2018
  4. Invited talk at University of Liverpool, June 2017
  5. Invited Speaker at the ISOP session on “ Infections of the Eye and Adenexa” at at World Ophthalmology Conference, Guadalajara, Mexico, 5-9th Feb 2016
  6. Invited Faculty at 1st Middle East Ophthalmic Oncology Conference, Dec 15-16th 2016, Cairo,
  7. Invited talk at Regenerative Medicine Meeting, Berlin, 28 July to 1 August 2015
  8. Invited talk on “ Ivory Towers and Glass Ceilings” Contrasting forutuens of Higher Education and Commercial Sectors in bridging the gender gap in Leadership-  at Global Education Dialogues: South Asia Series: Dangerous Demographics in Colombo, March 2014
  9. Invited Speaker at World Ophthalmology Congress April 2014
  10. Invited Speaker at Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology  2014, Orlando, USA
  11. Invited Speaker at University of Rochester, USA-8-9th May 2014
  12. Distinguished Lecture on “Human Lacrimal Gland Cultures: Progress and Promise” at Schepen’s Eye Research Institute, Massachusettes Eye and Ear Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston
  13. Invited Speaker at European Congress of Pathology, London, 30th Aug -3rd Sept 2014
  14. Invited talks on Stem Cell Therapy in Ophthalmology, Progress and promise on 5th September 2014, at University of Liverpool
  15. Invited Talk on  What’s new in Corneal Infection in the Session Ocular Infections and Degenerations at World Ophthalmology Congress, 2014 Tokyo
  16. Invited talk at University of Ediburgh, 21st of January 2013
  17. Invited talk at University of Cardiff, UK
  18. Visit to London School of Hygiene and tropical medicine, London, 24th January 2013
  19. Invited talk at University College, London, 24th January 2013
  20. Invited talk at Queens Mary college, London, 25th January 2013
  21. Invited talk at the European Society of Ophthalmology, Copenhagen, Denmark, 8-11th June 2013
  22. Invited talk at the German Ophthalmologic Society meeting Nurember, Germany, 13-15th June 2013
  23. Invited visit to University of Wursburg , 14th June 2013
  24. Invited speaker (3 talks) at Ocular Oncology Symposium, National University of Singapore, 28-31st August 2013
  25. Invited speaker at the from 11th Biennial meeting of SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology and 16th Islamabad Congress of Ophthalmology at Bhurban, Pakistan 3-6th October 2013,
  26. Invited to deliver the  esteemed Lt Gen Mushtaq Baig Memorial lecture on Stem cell therapy in Ophthalmology, 11th Biennial meeting of SAARC Academy of Ophthalmology and 16th Islamabad Congress of Ophthalmology at Bhurban, Pakistan 3-6th October 2013,
  27. Invited visit at Life Patron, AL Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Rawalpindi, 7th October 2013
  28. Invited talk at the National Centre for Excellence in Molecular Biology, Lahore, 8th October 2013
  29. Invited talk at Asia-ARVO: Lacrimal gland cell therapy: where do we stand, 28th October 2013
  30. Invited speaker at International Society of Ophthalmology Guanzhou, China 9th – 11th  November 2013
  31. Visit to University of Arkansas Medical Sciences to discuss the collaborative NIH project, 17-18th January 2012
  32. Invited for the Research Advisory Council meeting at IAEA , Vienna, 10-12th September 2012
  33. Invited talk at the Neurosciences Club, Univeristy of Salzburg, 13-14th September 2012
  34. Invited Academic Visit and meeting the Leaders at University of Arkansas Medical School Feb 1-3rd 2011.
  35. Invited talk on Scope of School of Medical Sciences at University of Hyderabad, University of Arkanas Medical School, Little Rock, Feb 2nd 2011.
  36. Invited Talk on Interesting Clinico-pathologic correlation at University of Rochester, Rochester
  37. Invited talk on Scope of biomedical research at  Cincinnati Children’s hospital, Cincinnati
  38. Invited talk on Stem Cell Therapy for Ocular Surface, DST Wellcome trust meeting at UK, 23-28th July 2011
  39. Invited panellist of Wellcome Trust supported meeting at Sheffield supported by DST dated 24-28th July 2011
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