For the last twenty years, P. Hemachandra Reddy, Ph.D., a scientist at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), has researched healthy aging, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. In recognition of those efforts, Reddy has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers and based upon the nominee’s scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.
AAAS elected 489 of its members as Fellows in 2020. Reddy was elected in the Biological Sciences category for his pioneering contributions to the fields of Alzheimer's disease and mitochondrial neurobiology, particularly in discovering the key role of mitochondria in neurodegenerative diseases and their treatment. Mitochondria, considered the power generators of cells, take in and breakdown nutrients to create high-energy molecules for the cell.
Reddy’s experience and contributions benefit several TTUHSC schools and departments. He is a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the TTUHSC School of Medicine, one of the university’s largest research divisions that encompasses nationally and internationally recognized and research grant-funded faculty studying additional fields, including tropical medicine/infectious disease, hematology/oncology, nephrology and cardiopulmonary disease.
He also serves as a professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience at the School of Medicine, the Department of Public Health at the TTUHSC Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in the TTUHSC School of Health Professions. He became a member of AAAS about five years ago and said becoming an AAAS Fellow is an honor both professionally and personally.
“The election of Fellows is purely based on pioneering contributions to science over a lifetime, so it is a great honor to be recognized as a Fellow of AAAS,” Reddy said.
Reddy’s lab has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles related to Alzheimer’s disease and mitochondria research. According to the Google Scholar website, his articles have been cited 16,579 times with an H-Index of 66 and an i10-Index of 128. The h-index is used to measure a researcher’s scientific productivity and the impact of their research upon science. The i10 index is the number of publications a researcher has produced that have received at least 10 citations.
In addition, the Reddy lab is actively investigating chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, stroke, vascular dementia and other factors that are associated with dementia.
As a mentor, Reddy received good news earlier this year when his postdoctoral fellow, Subodh Kumar, Ph.D., accepted a K99/R00 Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health, the first such award in TTUHSC history.
Reddy also was elected a Fellow of the American Neurological Association in 2014. Though the accolades and recognition are nice, Reddy believes groups like the ANA and AAAS are valuable because of the relationships and opportunities that come from meeting and learning from other scientists.
“I have come to know a large number of fellow researchers and scientists in almost all scientific communities,” Reddy said. “It opens my eyes; how biological and human science is moving forward. I sincerely thank all my current and former lab members for their sincere efforts, and my collaborators and peers who supported me all through my research career. Last, but not least, I thank my parents and family members for their support and for understanding my passion for Alzheimer’s Science.”