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Rao P. Gullapalli, PhD, MBA

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:

Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Additional Title:

Director, Core for Translational Research in Imaging @ Maryland (C-TRIM) Director, Center for Metabolic Imaging and Therapeutics (CMIT)



Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-2099

Education and Training

Osmania University, Hyderabad, India, Chemical Engineering, B.Tech., 1981
Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India, Post-Graduate Minerals Engineering Diploma, 1982
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Chemical Engineering, M.S., 1986
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, Instrumental Sciences, Ph.D., 1991
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, M.B.A., 2000


I have a broad background in medical imaging with specific training and expertise in developing novel magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques for clinical research. I worked for a leading medical imaging company translating research into mainstream products. My academic career involves studying longitudinal changes in structure and function following brain injury and developing image-guided interventional techniques.  My lab has been focused on developing new imaging biomarkers associated with traumatic brain injury and utilizing multi-parametric imaging for improving the sensitivity and specificity of injury detection.  Our recent development of diffusion kurtosis imaging for the detection of microstructural changes and neuro-inflammation, and brain network changes using resting state and task related functional MR have been exceedingly well received and are being translated to the clinic.  I am also involved in the development of novel MR guided neuro-interventions and provide augmented reailty solutions within the MR imaging environment.  

Research/Clinical Keywords

MRI, traumatic brain injury, image-guided interventions, imaging biomarkers, diffusion kurtosis imaging, focused ultrasound

Highlighted Publications

1.            Stokum JA, Sours C, Zhuo J, Kane R, Shanmuganathan K, Gullapalli RP. A longitudinal evaluation of diffusion kurtosis imaging in patients with mild traumatic brain injury. Brain Inj. 2015;29(1):47–57.

2.            Sours C, Alon G, Roys S, Gullapalli RP. Modulation of resting state functional connectivity of the motor network by transcranial pulsed current stimulation. Brain Connect. 2014 Apr;4(3):157–65.

3.            George EO, Roys S, Sours C, Rosenberg J, Zhuo J, Shanmuganathan K, et al. Longitudinal and prognostic evaluation of mild traumatic brain injury: A. J Neurotrauma. 2014 Jun 1;31(11):1018–28.

4.            Alon G, Roys SR, Gullapalli RP, Greenspan JD. Non-invasive electrical stimulation of the brain (ESB) modifies the resting-state network connectivity of the primary motor cortex: a proof of concept fMRI study. Brain Res. 2011 Jul 27;1403:37–44.

5.            Tan U-X, Yang B, Gullapalli R, Desai JP. Tri-Axial MRI Compatible Fiber-optic Force Sensor. IEEE Trans Robot Publ IEEE Robot Autom Soc. 2011 Feb 1;27(1):65–74.

6.            Zarabi B, Borgman MP, Zhuo J, Gullapalli R, Ghandehari H. Noninvasive monitoring of HPMA copolymer-RGDfK conjugates by magnetic resonance imaging. Pharm Res. 2009 May;26(5):1121–9.

7.            Zarabi B, Nan A, Zhuo J, Gullapalli R, Ghandehari H. HPMA copolymer-doxorubicin-gadolinium conjugates: synthesis, characterization, and in vitro evaluation. Macromol Biosci. 2008 Aug 11;8(8):741–8.

8.            Collins MJ, Ozeki T, Zhuo J, Gu J, Gullapalli R, Pierson RN, et al. Use of diffusion tensor imaging to predict myocardial viability after warm global ischemia: possible avenue for use of non-beating donor hearts. J Heart Lung Transplant Off Publ Int Soc Heart Transplant. 2007 Apr;26(4):376–83.

9.            Shanmuganathan K, Gullapalli RP, Mirvis SE, Roys S, Murthy P. Whole-brain apparent diffusion coefficient in traumatic brain injury: correlation with Glasgow Coma Scale score. AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2004 Apr;25(4):539–44.

10.          Smith GV, Alon G, Roys SR, Gullapalli RP. Functional MRI determination of a dose-response relationship to lower extremity neuromuscular electrical stimulation in healthy subjects. Exp Brain Res. 2003 May;150(1):33–9. 

Research Interests

I currently direct the Core for Translational Research in Imaging @ Maryland (C-TRIM) which facilitates both human imaging research development and pre-clinical animal imaging research.  I also direct the Center for Metabolic Imaging and Therapeutics (CMIT) which provides a multi-disciplinary environment for the development of advanced metabolic imaging and development of innovative image guided interventions including focused ultrasound.  Both C-TRIM and CMIT are supported by faculty and staff who assist in image processing and analysis of large scale data in search of imaging biomarkers. 

Awards and Affiliations

Honors and Awards

1982     Graduated at the top of the class for the Post-Graduate Diploma in Mineral Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India                                          

1989     Full tuition scholarship to attend "Electronics for Spectroscopists," NMR Concepts, Rhode Island

1989     Received a student travel grant from the Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine to attend their eighth annual meeting in Amsterdam

1990     Received a student grant entitled "NMR Coils for Magnetic Resonance and Spectroscopy" Arkansas Science & Technology Authority

1990     Maurice Testerman Excellence in Research award from UALR

1995     Picker Management Award of Excellence, 1995 for contributions to the development of Echo Planar Imaging

2007     Outstanding Invention of the Year 2007, Minimally Invasive Neurosurgical Intracranial Robot, Office of Technology Commercialization, University of Maryland College Park

Professional Activity

Breast Cancer Grant Reviewer, Department of Defense, 2000-Present

Prostate Cancer Grant Reviewer, Department of Defense, 2000-Present

Ad Hoc reviewer, RSNA Research & Education Grant Reviewer, 2000-Present

Ad Hoc member of the Diagnostic Imaging study section and National Center for Research Resources, 2001-Present

Member, Special Emphasis Panel, Bioinformatics in Surgical Sciences, Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 2010-Present

Ad Hoc Medical Research Council, United Kingdom, 2012

Ad Hoc Reviewer, American Institute of Biological Sciences, 2010-Present

Senior Editor, Journal of Medical Robotics Research, 2015-Present

Organizer, CNRM Traumatic Brain Injury Symposium, Bethesda, MD, 2012-Present

Organizer, Maryland Neuroimaging Retreat, Baltimore, MD, 2012-Present