Abhishek A. Kulkarni, PhD

Abhishek earned his B.S and M.S. in Biotechnology from the University of Mumbai in India. He then joined Dr. Ryan Anderson’s lab at Indiana University School of Medicine as a graduate student in the Indiana BioMedical Gateway program and completed his Ph.D. in May 2020.

His thesis project focused on the role of the enzyme 12-lipoxygenase (12-LOX) in T1D pathogenesis. For this, he developed a zebrafish model of oxidative stress and inflammation. Using this transgenic zebrafish model and tissue-specific 12-LOX knockout mice, he identified the detrimental role of 12-LOX in macrophages and pancreatic beta cells in T1D pathogenesis. Next, he joined Dr. Mirmira’s lab as a postdoc at the University of Chicago in June 2020, where he studied the role of the polyamines-hypusine pathway in human pancreatic islet inflammation.

Abhishek’s current work is focused on studying the role of the co-stimulatory protein CD226 in the antigen-presenting cell (APC) – T cell interaction in the context of T1D pathogenesis.


  • Diabetes Research Connection Grant: Project Title- “Targeting polyamines for the prevention of T1D”. (07/01/2021-06/30/2022)
  • DeVault Fellowship: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Graduate Program. Project Title- “Role of 12-LOX in T1D pathogenesis”. (07/01/2019-05/31/2020)

Awards and Professional Honors

  • Invited speaker at the “Sugar Science-Ask the expert” session, UCSF (virtual), USA (2022)
  • Best poster presentation, 2022 Janet Rowley Research Day, University of Chicago, USA (2022)
  • People’s choice award, 3-minute thesis competition, Indiana University, USA (2019)
  • Best poster presentation, Annual Diabetes symposium, Indiana University, USA (2019)
  • Travel Awards, Indiana University for Midwest Islet Club conference, USA (2018, 2019)
  • First position in academics & dissertation project (MS Biotechnology), University of Mumbai, India (2014)
  • Science Honor’s in BS Biotechnology (Grade:A), University of Mumbai, India (2012)


  • Aguirre RS, Kulkarni A, Becker MW, Lei X, Sarkar S, Ramanadham S, Phelps EA, Nakayasu ES, Sims EK, Mirmira RG. Extracellular Vesicles in β Cell Biology: Role of Lipids in Vesicle Biogenesis, Cargo, and Intercellular Signaling. Mol Metab. 2022 Jul 8:101545. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2022.101545. PMID: 35817393.
  • Piñeros AR, Kulkarni A, Gao H, Orr KS, Glenn L, Huang F, Liu Y, Gannon M, Syed F, Wu W, Anderson CM, Evans-Molina C, McDuffie M, Nadler JL, Morris MA, Mirmira RG, Tersey SA. Proinflammatory signaling in islet β cells propagates invasion of pathogenic immune cells in autoimmune diabetes. Cell Rep. 2022 Jun 28;39(13):111011. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2022.111011. PMID: 35767947.
  • Kulkarni A, Anderson CM, Mirmira RG, Tersey SA. Role of Polyamines and Hypusine in β Cells and Diabetes Pathogenesis. Metabolites. 2022 Apr 12;12(4):344. doi: 10.3390/metabo12040344. PMID: 35448531; PMCID: PMC9028953.
  • Kulkarni A, Anderson R, Mirmira RG. A zebrafish tailfin injury assay protocol for quantifying immune cell migration and infiltration. STAR Protoc. 2022 Feb 23;3(1):101196. doi: 10.1016/j.xpro.2022.101196. PMID: 35243379; PMCID: PMC8881708.
  • Kulkarni A, Ibrahim S, Haider I, Basha A, Montgomery E, Ermis E, Mirmira RG, Anderson RM. A Novel 2-Hit Zebrafish Model to Study Early Pathogenesis of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Biomedicines. 2022 Feb 17;10(2):479. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10020479. PMID: 35203687; PMCID: PMC8962409.
  • Anderson-Baucum E, Piñeros AR, Kulkarni A, Webb-Robertson BJ, Maier B, Anderson RM, Wu W, Tersey SA, Mastracci TL, Casimiro I, Scheuner D, Metz TO, Nakayasu ES, Evans-Molina C, Mirmira RG. Deoxyhypusine synthase promotes a pro-inflammatory macrophage phenotype. Cell Metab. 2021 Sep 7;33(9):1883-1893.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2021.08.003. PMID: 34496231; PMCID: PMC8432737.
  • Kulkarni A, Pineros AR, Walsh MA, Casimiro I, Ibrahim S, Hernandez-Perez M, Orr KS, Glenn L, Nadler JL, Morris MA, Tersey SA, Mirmira RG, Anderson RM. 12-Lipoxygenase governs the innate immune pathogenesis of islet inflammation and autoimmune diabetes. JCI Insight. 2021 Jul 22;6(14):e147812. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.147812. PMID: 34128835; PMCID: PMC8410073.
  • Kulkarni A, Nadler JL, Mirmira RG, Casimiro I. Regulation of Tissue Inflammation by 12-Lipoxygenases. Biomolecules. 2021 May 11;11(5):717. doi: 10.3390/biom11050717. PMID: 34064822; PMCID: PMC8150372.
  • Hernandez-Perez M, Kulkarni A, Samala N, Sorrell C, El K, Haider I, Mukhtar Aleem A, Holman TR, Rai G, Tersey SA, Mirmira RG, Anderson RM. A 12-lipoxygenase-Gpr31 signaling axis is required for pancreatic organogenesis in the zebrafish. FASEB J. 2020 Nov;34(11):14850-14862. doi: 10.1096/fj.201902308RR. Epub 2020 Sep 12. PMID: 32918516; PMCID: PMC7606739.
  • Kulkarni AA, Conteh AM, Sorrell CA, Mirmira A, Tersey SA, Mirmira RG, Linnemann AK, Anderson RM. An In Vivo Zebrafish Model for Interrogating ROS-Mediated Pancreatic β-Cell Injury, Response, and Prevention. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018 Mar 28;2018:1324739. doi: 10.1155/2018/1324739. PMID: 29785241; PMCID: PMC5896207.