Department of Chemistry

Xavier University of Louisiana

Tulasi Ponnapakkam, Ph.D
Research Scientist/Instructor

Telephone Number: 504-520-6742
Room Number: NCF Annex Room 376
Email Address:

Toxicology-CHEM 3450

Short Professional Biography





Osmania University
Hyderabad, India



September 2015-present  Research Scientist, Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Department of Chemistry, Xavier University of LA, New Orleans.

2014-present Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Structural and Cellular Biology, Tulane University, School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA.

2010-2015 Research Scientist/Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.

2005-2010 Associate Scientist, Department of Pediatrics, Ochsner Medical Center, New Orleans, LA.

2003-2005 Instructor, Department of Pediatrics, Tulane University, School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA

1994-2003 Post-Doctoral Research Associate/Toxicologist , ATSDR Funded Program, College of Pharmacy, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA

Research Interest

Translational Research
Drug Discovery

Current Grant Support

DoD Grant Funding - “Preclinical Development of Novel Parathyroid Hormone-Related Peptide Antagonists for Treatment of Breast Cancer Metastases to Bone”

Recent Publications

1.         Katikaneni R., Ponnapakkam A., Miller E., Ponnapakkam T, and Gensure RC. A New Technique for Precisely and Accurately Measuring Lumbar Spine Bone Mineral Density in Mice using Clinical Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA). Toxicological Mechanisms and Methods.  2009 19(3): 225-231.
2.         Ponnapakkam T., Bradford, E. and Gensure RC. A Treatment Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation in Breast-fed Infants: Universal Supplementation Is Not Necessary for Rickets Prevention in Southern Louisiana.  Clinical Pediatrics. 2010 49 (11), 1053-1060
3.         Ponnapakkam T, Bradford E, Gensure R.A treatment trial of vitamin D supplementation in breast-fed infants: universal supplementation is not necessary for rickets prevention in Southern Louisiana. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2010 Nov;49(11):1053-60. doi: 10.1177/0009922810376320. Epub 2010 Aug 19
4.         Ponnapakkam T, Katikaneni R, Miller. E, Ponnapakkam, A, Hirofumi, S, Miyata, S, Suva, L.J., Sakon, J, Matsushita,O and Gensure, R.C.  Monthly administration of a novel PTH-collagen binding domain fusion protein is anabolic in mice. Calcified Tissue International: 201188(6): p. 511-20.
5.         Ponnapakkam T, Katikaneni R,  Nicholas, T, Tobin, G , Sakon, J, Matsushita,O and Gensure, R.C. Prevention of Chemotherapy-Induced Osteoporosis by Cyclophosphamide with a long acting form of Parathyroid Hormone. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation . 2011 34(11): p. e392-7.
6.         R. Katikaneni, T. Ponnapakkam, H. Suda., S. Miyata, J. Sakon, O.Matsushita, and R.C. Gensure. Treatment for chemotherapy-induced alopecia in mice using parathyroid hormone agonists and antagonists linked to a collagen binding domain. International Journal of Cancer-2011 Nov 30. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27379. [Epub ahead of print]
7.         Gensure, R.C., Katikaneni R and Ponnapakkam T: Treatment of Chemotherapy Induced Alopecia in Mice with a Novel Parathyroid Hormone Fusion Protein: Prophylaxis Vs Therapy. 41st Annual ESDR Meeting, Barcelona, Spain, J Invest Dermatol, 131, 7 80, 7-10 September 2011
8.         Gangat M, Ponnapakkam T, Bradford E, Katikaneni R, Gensure R.Reversed seasonal variation in maternal vitamin D levels in southern Louisiana. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2012 Aug;51(8):718-22. doi: 10.1177/0009922812444599. Epub 2012 May 7.
9.         Ponnapakkam, T, Katikaneni R,  Nicholas, T, Tobin, G , Sakon, J, Matsushita,O and Gensure, R.C A Single Injection of the Anabolic Bone Agent, Parathyroid Hormone-Collagen Binding Domain (PTH-CBD), Results in Sustained Increases in Bone Mineral Density for up to 12 Months in Normal Female Mice. Calcif Tissue Int. 2012 Sep;91(3):196-203. doi: 10.1007/s00223-012-9626-1. Epub 2012 Jul 18
10.       Katikaneni R, Ponnapakkam T, Matsushita O, Sakon J, Gensure R. Treatment and prevention of chemotherapy-induced alopecia with PTH-CBD, a collagen-targeted parathyroid hormone analog, in a non-depilated mouse model. Anticancer Drugs. 2013 Sep 9. [Epub ahead of print]
11.       Ponnapakkam T, Katikaneni R, Sakon J, Stratford R, Gensure RC. Treating osteoporosis by targeting parathyroid hormone to bone. Drug Discov Today. 2013 Aug 6. pii: S1359-6446(13)00253-5. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2013.07.015. [Epub ahead of print]
12.       Katikaneni R1, Gulati R, Suh D, Sakon J, Seymour A, Ponnapakkam T, Gensure R. Therapy for alopecia areata in mice using parathyroid hormone agonists and antagonists, linked to a collagen-binding domain. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2013 Dec;16(1):S61-2. doi: 10.1038/jidsymp.2013.25.
13.       Stratford R Jr, Vu C, Sakon J, Katikaneni R, Gensure R, Ponnapakkam T:. Pharmacokinetics in rats of a long-acting human parathyroid hormone-collagen binding domain peptide construct. J Pharm Sci. 2014 Feb;103(2):768-75. doi: 10.1002/jps.23843. Epub 2014 Jan 7
14.       Katikaneni R, Ponnapakkam T, Seymour A, Sakon J, Gensure R. Parathyroid hormone linked to a collagen binding domain promotes hair growth in a mouse model of chemotherapy-induced alopecia in a dose-dependent manner. Anticancer Drugs. 2014 Aug;25(7):819-25. doi: 10.1097/CAD.0000000000000110.

15. Hina J. Talib, , Tulasi Ponnapakkam, Robert Gensure,  Hillel W. Cohen,  and Susan M. Coupey, Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency in Predominantly Hispanic and Black Adolescents: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of Pediatrics.2015.
Past Grant Support

1. Title: Verification of in vivo efficacy of GMP manufactured PTH-CBD
Principal Investigator: Tulasi Ponnapakkam, Ph.D.
Role on Project: Principal Investigator
Agency: ICTR (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), through CTSA grant numbers UL1TR001073, KL2TR001071 and TL1TR001072)
Period: 04/01/13-3/30/2014
The major goal of this project was to test the efficacy of GMP manufactured PTH-CBD in a model of chemotherapy induced osteoporosis.

2. Title:  Comparison of Two Standard High-dose Treatment Regimens for Vitamin D Deficiency in  Minority Adolescents: Associations of Vitamin D Repletion with Changes in Markers of Musculoskeletal, Cardiometabolic, and Immune Function 
PI: Hina Talib, MD
Co-PI: Tulasi Ponnapakkam Ph.D, Robert Gensure, MD/Ph.D and Susan Coupey, MD.
Period December 2013 to April 30 2014.
The goal of this project was to determine the appropriate dosing regimen of Vitamin D treatment in the adolescent population.

3. Title: Therapy for Alopecia areata in mice using parathyroid hormone agonists and antagonists linked to a collagen binding domain
Co-Principal Investigator: Tulasi Ponnapakkam, Ph.D.
Role on Project: Co-Principal Investigator
Agency: National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF)
Period: 04/01/12-3/31/2013
The major goal of this project was to develop a new fusion protein, PTH-CBD to treat hair loss and alopecia.

4. Title: Vitamin D Status in 2-4 Healthy Infants in New York City
Principal investigator: Tulasi Ponnapakkam,
Co-Principal Investigator:  Robert Gensure, MD/ Ph.D.
Agency: CTSA Grant UL1 RR025750 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the NIH roadmap for Medical Research      
Period:  June 1, 2011 through April 30, 2012 
The goal of this project was to determine if vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency is prevalent among 2-4 month old infants in New York City.

5. Title: Vitamin D supplementation in Breastfed Infants
Investigator: Robert Gensure, MD/Ph.D
Co-Principal investigator: Tulasi Ponnapakkam,
Funding Agency: Gerber Foundation
Institute: Ochsner Clinic Foundation, New Orleans, LA
Period:  June 2006 through July 31 2010

The goal of this project was to determine if vitamin D supplementation is necessary in breast fed infants in New Orleans City.

Department of Chemistry