Ranmal Aloka Samarasinghe
Assistant Professor-in-Residence, Neurology, University of California Los Angeles
Dr. Ranmal Samarasinghe received his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013. He completed his residency in adult neurology at UCLA in 2017 and then completed an NIH funded post-doctoral research and clinical fellowship at UCLA from 2017-2020. During this period, Dr. Samarasinghe obtained clinical training in epilepsy and neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring. He also performed research developing stem cell-based models of epilepsy and autism, which is the foundation of his own laboratory.
Dr. Samarasinghe’s laboratory seeks to understand the mechanisms of neural network formation and dysfunction in epilepsy and autism. His efforts are focused on 3D brain-like structures called human brain organoids that are grown in a laboratory dish and that are derived from stem cells. Brain organoids can be generated from the stem cells of individual patients and may provide unique insights into the causes of human neurological diseases such as epilepsy and autism. His laboratory is developing and utilizing multiple methodologies including whole-organoid multiphoton based calcium indicator imaging, voltage sensors, traditional extracellular recordings, high throughput genomic screens, and super-resolution synaptic imaging to interrogate the developmental trajectory of nascent neural networks in organoid models. Dr. Samarasinghe will also continue to manage patients with epilepsy and autism in his clinic and perform neurophysiologic intraoperative monitoring for surgical cases performed at UCLA and affiliated hospitals.
- Allison T, Langerman J, Sabri S, Otero-Garcia M, Lund A, Huang J, Wei X, Samarasinghe RA, Polioudakis D, Mody I, Cobos I, Novitch BG, Geschwind DH, Plath K, Lowry WE. Defining the nature of human pluripotent stem cell-derived interneurons via single-cell analysis.. Stem cell reports, 2021.
- Samarasinghe RA, Miranda OA, Buth JE, Mitchell S, Ferando I, Watanabe M, Allison TF, Kurdian A, Fotion NN, Gandal MJ, Golshani P, Plath K, Lowry WE, Parent JM, Mody I, Novitch BG. Identification of neural oscillations and epileptiform changes in human brain organoids.. Nature neuroscience, 2021.
- Samarasinghe RA, Kanuparthi PS, Timothy Greenamyre J, DeFranco DB, Di Maio R. Transient muscarinic and glutamatergic stimulation of neural stem cells triggers acute and persistent changes in differentiation.. Neurobiology of disease, 2014.
- Samarasinghe RA, Witchell SF, DeFranco DB. Cooperativity and complementarity: synergies in non-classical and classical glucocorticoid signaling.. Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.), 2012.
- Samarasinghe RA, Di Maio R, Volonte D, Galbiati F, Lewis M, Romero G, DeFranco DB. Nongenomic glucocorticoid receptor action regulates gap junction intercellular communication and neural progenitor cell proliferation.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011.
- Bales JW, Yan HQ, Ma X, Li Y, Samarasinghe R, Dixon CE. The dopamine and cAMP regulated phosphoprotein, 32 kDa (DARPP-32) signaling pathway: a novel therapeutic target in traumatic brain injury.. Experimental neurology, 2011.
- Samarasinghe RA. The urgent need to increase support for the NIH's MD-PhD student fellowships.. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 2011.
- Ho Y, Samarasinghe R, Knoch ME, Lewis M, Aizenman E, DeFranco DB. Selective inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatases by zinc accounts for extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2-dependent oxidative neuronal cell death.. Molecular pharmacology, 2008.