Lab Members

Current Lab Members

Rajkumar Verma, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator



Dr. Verma has long standing interest in pharmacology and neuroscience research. He is passionate about drug discovery for the treatment of ischemic stroke. Dr. Verma completed his Ph.D. work at Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India and earned his doctoral degree in Pharmacy from Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi, India. He joined UConn Health in February 2012 to continue his interest in stroke therapy in preclinical settings.

Daylin Gamiotea-Turro, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Fellow


I completed her PhD in Chemistry at Sao Paulo State University, Brazil in 2018. I joined Verma lab us as a Research Assistant in Dec 2020 and and later on promoted to postdoctoral fellow in July 2022. I am working on the development of neuroprotection strategies after ischemic stroke using in vitro and in vivo approaches .

Mitch Paro
Medical Student Class of 2023
UConn School of Medicine

Mitch is a medical student at UConn School of Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and has studied at Middlebury College and University of Virginia. He is interested in pursuing neurosurgery as a clinical specialty and he intends to remain an active clinician-researcher throughout his career.

Melisha Budhathoki
Medical Student Class of 2023
UConn School of Medicine

Melisha is a medical student at Uconn school of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate at Boston university with a degree in Neurobiology. Melisha has previously done research studying the role of microglia in Autism Spectrum disorders. Currently, her interests are to study Neuroinflammation as a therapeutic target for stroke.

Sanjeev Kumar Yadav, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Fellow

I am an experienced cellular and molecular Biologist. I received my PhD from the Indian Institute of Toxicology Research and received a doctoral degree in Biological Sciences from the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), India in 2022. Currently, I am investigating the potential novel targets for the treatment of stroke and validating those targets using genetic and pharmacological manipulation.

Previous Lab Members

Pranay Srivastava, Ph.D.


Pranay was a postdoctoral fellow in the lab from May 2017-October 2019. He was working on development of novel target for the treatment of stroke. Pranay has completed his Ph.D. from CSIR- Indian Institute of Toxicology Research. He is currently doing his second postdoc in Harvard Medical School.

Victoria Scranton

Michael McGonnigle
Research Assistant


Victoria is a Research Assistant with 25 years of experience at UConn Health. Her interests revolve around studying the impact of trauma (both physical and mental) on the inflammatory process in the brain. Victoria currently has dual employment in the Department of Psychiatry where she coordinates clinical trials with young children and their mothers looking at intergenerational stress and how it impacts the epigenetics of the stress pathway, and in the Department of Neuroscience where she assists in various drug target validation projects.

Michael has joined a Medical school at Utah to fulfill his dream

Sarah Swetz
Undergraduate Researcher


Sarah is an undergraduate student at the University of Connecticut studying Physiology and Neurobiology. She joined the lab after her sophomore year through the UConn Health Research Program. Her goal is to study miRNA inhibitors for the treatment of stroke through an in vitro cell line based system.

Kiana Klafter

Kiana is a HRP summer fellow in Verma lab. She is sophomore at UConn undergrad program at Storrs campus

Maria Antony 

Maria joined Verm lab as an undergraduate summer student during her sophomore year and completed her honors thesis studying the role of miR-181c in post stroke social isolation. She is currently a UConn medical student and aspires to become a physician scientist in the field of geriatrics, as well as stroke research.