Deepti Nair, PhD

Instructor of Biomedical Sciences


Dr. Nair’s interdisciplinary research career has been broadly related to understanding the ways in which the human brain reacts to stress and injuries. She is expert at the behavioral interpretation, morphological assessment and biochemical analysis in animal models of human disease. More specifically, she has investigated the role that certain regions of the brain play in modulating stress, and has studied the mechanisms of neural injury following obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), intermittent hypoxia (IH), sleep fragmentation (SF) and obesity. Dr. Nair’s research has led to the understanding that a high fat and sugar diet, and/or IH, enhances susceptibility to neuronal injury, increases activation of NADPH oxidase, and plays a key role in neurobehavioral dysfunctions in the hippocampus. Her studies have also shown that OSA and SF activate TNF-α-dependent inflammatory mechanisms that may in turn lead to excessive sleepiness despite sleep duration.

Dr. Nair’s current research interests involve the use of animal models of human disease to study different aspects of behavior, including learning and memory, anxiety and depression. She is currently investigating the functional effects of muscarinic agonists in a rodent model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) using multiple tests of spatial memory; and studying neural circuitry and behavior in animal models of neonatal brain injury and neurodegeneration. She is also currently using a rat model of AD-like cholinergic loss to test whether increased physical activity can prevent or treat depressive behavior.


PhD, Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bangalore, India
MS, Medical Physiology, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal, India
BA, Microbiology, University of Bombay, Mumbai, India


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Postdoctoral Training, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral Training, University of Louisville