Faculty Information

Rajesh Khanna, PhD, MSc

Professor
Molecular Pathobiology
Director, NYU Pain Center
345 East 24th Street

New York, New York US 10010
rk4272@nyu.edu


Education

  • Post-doctoral fellowship, Physiology and Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, University of California at Los Angeles, 2000-2003
  • PhD, Physiology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2000
  • MSc, Pharmacology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1996
  • BSc, Toxicology, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1994

  • 2021-present Associate Editor for Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience (Cellular Neurophysiology section)
  • 2021-present Editorial Board Member, Channels
  • 2020 Scientific co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, EleutheriaTx
  • 2020 Reviewer, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program (DP2), 2021/05 ZRG1 CVRS-A (70) S
  • 2020 Review Editor, Frontiers in Pharmacology, Pharmacology of Ion Channels and Channelopathies
  • 2020 Review Editor, Frontiers in Pain Research, Cancer Pain
  • 2020 Reviewer, 2021/01 ZDA1 SKM-D (02) S; NIDA SEP for Career Development and Education (K99/R00 and K12)
  • 2020 Ad hoc Reviewer for the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and
    Allied Health Professions, South Dakota State University
  • 2020 Ad hoc Reviewer for the University of Rochester Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience
  • 2020 Reviewer and Acting Chair, 2020/08 ZDA1 SKM-D (06) R SEP III: Step Up for Substance Use
    Disorders (SUD): A Drug Target Initiative for Scientists Engaged in Fundamental Research
  • 2020 Reviewer and Acting Chair, 2020/08 ZDA1 TXT-V (05) R SEP II: Step Up for Substance Use
    Disorders (SUD): A Drug Target Initiative for Scientists Engaged in Fundamental Research
  • 2020 Reviewer and Acting Chair, 2020/08 ZDA1 TXT-V (01) R – Step Up for Substance Use
    Disorders (SUD): A Drug Target Initiative for Scientists Engaged in Fundamental Research –
    U18 Research Demonstration – Cooperative Agreement Study Section (2020/06)
  • 2020 Member, Abstract Review Committee for 2020 Annual NF Conference, Children’s Tumor
    Foundation
  • 2020 Reviewer, National Council of Science and Technology, Mexico
  • 2020 Senior Member of the National Academy of Inventors
  • 2020 Reviewer, 2020 CTF's Drug Discovery Initiative Registered Reports (DDIRR) Program
  • 2020 Reviewer, Somatosensory and Pain Systems Study Section (SPS) 2020/05
  • 2019 Reviewer, 2020 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program
  • 2019 Reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2019/08 ZRG1-IDM-C-50
  • 2019 Reviewer, 2019/08 ZRG1 IFCN-B (07) S - Discovery & Validation of Novel Safe and Effective
    Pain Treatment
  • 2019 Reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2019/08 ZRG1 IFCN-N (55)
  • 2019 Reviewer, 2019/08 ZRD1 Neurobiology – B (NURB)-H (01) 1 Merit Review Subcommittee
    (VA)
  • 2019 Reviewer, National Science Center, Poland
  • 2019 Reviewer, ZDA1 SXM-M 22 S, Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards (CEBRA) (R21)
  • 2019 Reviewer, NINDS R13 review (ZNS1 SRB K17) 2019/03
  • 2019 Reviewer, PAR Panel: Fogarty Global Brain Disorders 2019/05 ZRG1 BDCN-N (55) R
  • 2019 Reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2019/05 ZDA1 SXM-M (22) S
  • 2018-present Editorial Board, ASN Neuro
  • 2018 Reviewer, ZNS1 SRB-M (07); Review of R35 Research Program Award
  • 2018 Reviewer, ZDA1 SXM-M (09) S; Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards (CEBRA) (R21-Clinical Trial Optional)
  • 2018 Reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group ZRG1 ETTN-U 84; Uniformed Services University (USU) – Transforming Technology for the Warfighter (TTW) Program
  • 2018, 2020 Reviewer, Czech Science Foundation
  • 2018 Reviewer, R13 Review Panel ZNS1 SRB K13
  • 2018 Reviewer, Neurotransporters, Receptors, and Calcium (NTRC) Signaling Study Section
  • 2018 College of Medicine Faculty Mentoring Award, University of Arizona
  • 2018 Achievement Award 2018, Outstanding Faculty for Graduate and Professional Students, University of Arizona
  • 2018 Reviewer, Special Emphasis Panel/Scientific Review Group 2018/08 ZRG1 ETTN-U (81) S; Uniformed Services University (USU) – Pain Research and Management program
  • 2018 Reviewer, Academic Program Review of the Physiological Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, University of Arizona
  • 2017-present Associate Editor, BMC Neuroscience, ‘Cell and molecular mechanisms’ section
  • 2017 Reviewer, National Cancer Institute - ZCA1 SRB-A (J1) NCI Provocative Questions Special Emphasis Panel-2
  • 2017-present Associate Editor, Neuronal Signaling (Biochemical Society, Portland Press)
  • 2017 UA Academic Leadership Institute Fellow
  • 2017 Honors College, UA Excellence in Mentoring Award
  • 2017 Outstanding Undergraduate Biology Research Program (UBRP) Faculty Mentor 2016
  • 2015-present Scientific co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Regulonix, LLC
  • 2015-present Review Editor, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
  • 2015-present Review Editor, Frontiers in Cellular Biochemistry
  • 2015 United States Patent 9,018,1732003
  • 2013 Scientific co-founder, Gabriel Therapeutics, LLC
  • 2012-present Editorial Board Member, the International Scholarly Research Network (ISRN)
  • 2012-present Editorial Board Member, Journal of Pathobiology and Toxicology
  • 2011-present Scientific co-founder, Sophia Therapeutics, LLC
  • 2011-2014 Editor, Translational Neuroscience
  • 2010 Elwert Award in Medicine, Indiana University
  • 2003-2004 American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship (competitive renewal)
  • 2001-2003 American Heart Association Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2000-2002 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2001 Governor General’s Gold Medal nominee (for outstanding doctoral dissertation)
  • Mar. 2000 Keystone Conference Scholarship
  • Feb. 2000 Biophysical Society Travel Award
  • Sept. 1999 American Physiological Society Travel Award
  • 1990-1994 Metropolitan Life Merit Undergraduate Scholarship


Research Interests

  • Regulation of trafficking and functions of voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels
  • Identification of novel protein regulators of ion channels
  • Approaches to targeting the ion channel complexes in neuropathic pain and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Discovery of novel biologics and small molecules targeting pain and neurodegenerative diseases

Research Activities

The focus of my laboratory's research is to understand how ion channels, specifically, voltage-gated calcium and sodium channels, are regulated by novel protein interactions. Recent studies in my laboratory have focused on targeting protein-protein interactions with biologics (peptide aptamers) and small molecules; testing the activity of these novel chemical entities in biochemical and immunofluorescent-based assays of trafficking; examining their protein interaction signatures; testing them with whole cell voltage-clamp electrophysiology and voltage- and calcium sensitive fluorescence-based imaging. Regulating these protein networks to modulate the activity of ion channels in neurodegenerative diseases (chronic pain, migraine, and neurofibromatosis) is a key focus of the laboratory.


Research Focus

The Khanna lab investigates neurobiological mechanisms that are responsible for pain chronification. The group has pioneered regulation of nociceptive ion channels (CaV2.2 and NaV1.7) as an alternative means to finding analgesic drugs. Projects address the role of cytosolic mediators responsible for pain, preclinical models to define responsible peripheral nociceptive mechanisms, and large animal models to understand the neurobiological understanding of pain in neurofibromatosis type 1.  


Active Projects  

  • R01NS098772
    CRMP2, Mitochondria, and Huntington Disease
    (Multi-PI; only the direct costs allocated to Khanna are shown)
    4/1/17  2/28/22

  • R01DA042852
    CRMP2, Nav1.7 Sodium Channel, and Chronic pain
    6/1/17  2/28/22

  • R01NS120663
    Genetic and Pharmacological Validation of CRMP2 Phosphorylation as a Novel therapeutic target for Neuropathic Pain
    8/1/20  7/31/24

  • R01NS120663-S1
    Sentrin Proteases, CRMP2 deSUMOylation, and Chronic Pain
    1/15/21  8/31/24

  • R01NS120663-S2
    CRMP2 Phosphorylation: A Novel Target for Alzheimer’s Disease
    4/15/21  7/31/24

  • R01NS119263
    Anti-CV2 Autoantibodies Unmask a CRMP5/GluN2B Pain Signaling Hub (co-I; only the direct costs allocated to Khanna are shown)
    1/1/20  12/21/25

  • R01AT009716
    Green Light Therapy for Chronic Pain
    (co-I; PI: Ibrahim)
    7/16/18  5/31/23

  • K08NS104272
    Mechanism of Intrathecal Contulakin-G Induced Analgesia Without Motor Block
    (co-I; PI: Patwardhan)
    7/15/18  4/30/23

  • R01AT009716-S1
    Green Light Therapy for Improving Dementia in Mice Models of Alzheimer’s Disease
    (co-I; 10% of grant costs allocated to Khanna)
    3/1/21  2/28/22

  • R01NS116694
    Validation of Spinal Neurotensin Receptor 2 as an Analgesic Target
    (co-I; PI: Patwardhan)
    9/15/20  8/31/24

  • R41CA257845
    Inhibition of CaVα-β Interaction with Orally Available Small Organic Molecules for Chronic Pain
    5/1/21  4/30/22

  • R41NS122545
    Targeting the Neuropilin-1 Receptor (NRP-1)/VEGF-A Axis for Neuropathic Pain
    7/1/21  6/30/23

  • 75N95019D00012
    Disease Model Characterization and Development of Assays to Evaluate and Measure Pain in a Porcine Model for Sickle Cell Disease
    (Subcontract)
    10/1/19  6/30/22

  • CCXDP
    TAF1, T-Type channels, and X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism, Collaborative Center for X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism
    1/1/22  6/30/23

  • GEMM Award
    A NaV1.7 Mouse Lacking the CRMP2-binding Domain: Examining Specificity of NaV1.7-CRMP2 Coupling and Testing If Pain Resolution Requires Endogenous Opioid Signaling
    7/1/20  6/30/21

  • UA Venture Captial
    Optimization of Allosteric Regulators of the NaV1.7 Sodium Channel for Chemotherapy-induced Peripheral Neuropathy
    7/1/21  6/30/23

  • TLA Asset Development Award
    Blocking NRP-1 for the Treatment of Pain, Cancer and Prevention of Viral Entry
    5/1/21  4/30/23

  • Cariplo foundation (Italy)
    The Crucial Role of HCN2 Channels in Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain
    1/1/21  12/30/23


Representative Publications

Complete listing available on the NYU Health Sciences Library site.