Samba Reddy studies the cellular and molecular pathophysiology and neurotherapeutics of epilepsy and brain disorders.
Reddy is a board-certified pharmacist-pharmacologist who has been researching new drug development for epilepsy and related brain disorders for over 25 years.
Epilepsy and seizure disorders affect about 60 million people worldwide, including 3 million civilians and veterans in the United States. Currently, there are no medications that offer a cure for epilepsy. The Reddy lab is developing innovative, disease-modifying therapies for preventing the development and progression of epilepsy.
Reddy directs a productive multidisciplinary research group utilizing pharmacological, neuroimaging, electrophysiological, neuropathological, and molecular techniques. Current projects in the Reddy lab are centered on elucidating the molecular pathophysiology of, and developing mechanism-based novel drug therapies for, epileptogenesis, status epilepticus, post-traumatic epilepsy, post-stroke epilepsy, and chemical neurotoxicity.
Reddy has a longstanding interest in neurosteroids as novel anticonvulsants and neuroprotectants, and his lab has conducted pioneering investigations on neurosteroid interactions at synaptic and extrasynaptic GABA-A receptors. The seminal contributions of the Reddy lab in elucidating the role of neurosteroids in the brain culminated in the discovery of neurosteroid replacement therapy. This therapy consists of administering a synthetic neurosteroid during a period of decreased levels or deficiency state to alleviate seizures or diminish mood disorders such as catamenial epilepsy, premenstrual syndrome, and post-partum depression.
Many of Reddy’s research innovations have had profound impact for improved healthcare and clinical practice. For instance, in 2019, the first neurosteroid allopregnanolone (brexanolone) was approved by the FDA for clinical use in post-partum depression, which affects nearly 10% of childbearing women. Additionally, the “first-in-class” synthetic neurosteroid ganaxolone is undergoing clinical trials for treating epilepsy and seizure disorders.
The Reddy lab also has great interest in military medicine projects, such as development of novel antidotes for chemical warfare nerve agents, identification of prevention strategies for post-traumatic epilepsy, and testing treatments for Gulf War illness in veterans. Reddy was instrumental in discovering many preclinical models, mechanism-based treatment strategies, and novel medicines for such complex brain disorders. His research projects have been funded by the NIH and DOD for over 15 years. He is the principal investigator of an NIH CounterACT project focusing on novel treatments for organophosphate and nerve agent intoxication. He also directs a DOD project on post-traumatic epilepsy after traumatic brain injury, which affects many soldiers who have been in combat.
Reddy teaches both medical and graduate courses on human pharmacology and therapeutics. He mentors many undergraduates and doctoral & postdoctoral trainees. He has published over 195 papers and book-chapters (h-index 51; i10-index 119), which are available worldwide (http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2735-9550).
He is a professor in the Department of Neurosciences and Experimental Therapeutics in the College of Medicine at Texas A&M.
He earned a PhD in pharmacology from Panjab University, India and conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health.