Scientist » Dr. Rekha Samuel

Rekha Samuel  


Centre for Stem Cell Research
Christian Medical College

Office: +91 416 307-5111
Lab: +91 416 307-5112
Fax: +91 416 307-5103

Career Interests

Vascular stem / Progenitor cells, Diabetes, Vascular tissue engineering, in-vivo microscopy, Human induced pluripotent stem cell research, Ultrastructure, Pathology.


  • Post doctoral research in vascular tissue engineering: 2008-2011, under mentorship of Professor Rakesh K. Jain, The Edwin L Steele Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.
  • MD, Doctor of Medicine, Pathology, 2001- Christian Medical College, India.
  • Internship, Medicine (MBBS), 1997- Christian Medical College, India.
  • MBBS, Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery 1996 - Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute, India.


  • 2015 - Guided Audio Tour for poster entitled “Dysfunctional Placental Fetal Gestational Diabetic Vascular Progenitors resemble Type 2 Diabetic Retinopathy ” at the American Diabetes Association Conference, Boston, USA. June 5th-9th.
  • 2015 - International Travel Scheme, Science and Engineering Research Board (DST), travel for airfare to attend the American Diabetes Association conference, Boston USA, June 5th-9th.
  • 2015 - Travel award, University Grants Commission, to attend the European Association for the study of Diabetes. (Eye Complication Study group), Turin, Italy. June 26th-28th.
  • 2015 - Partial Travel Assistance, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, for European Association for the study of Diabetes. (Eye Complication Study group), Turin, Italy. June 26th-28th.
  • 2013 - Best poster prize. Stem Cell Society of Singapore Annual Symposium. November 18th-19th.
  • 2010 - Award, Harvard Stem Cell Institute Imaging Contest, November 3rd, Stem Cell Salon, "New Technologies for Imaging Cells."
  • 2008-2011 - Overseas Associateship in Niche areas of biotechnology, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
  • 2003 - Senatus prize-best paper by junior faculty of the year 2002-2003, Christian Medical College, India for publication: Histopathological study of chronic hepatitis B and C: a Comparison of two scoring systems. J Hepatol; 2003 Feb; 38(2): 223-9. (MD thesis).
  • University Gold medal for Community Medicine (MBBS).
  • Honours in Pathology, Microbiology and Pharmacology (MBBS).


The focus of the lab is centred on the cellular and molecular events that lead to the interaction of human endothelial progenitor cells and perivascular cells in vascular disease, with a special interest in the diabetic pericyte.

The basis of Type 2 diabetic (T2D) micro vascular pathology is unresolved, worldwide. A combination of genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors are responsible for in utero reprogramming that can result in the development of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in later life. A third of newly diagnosed Diabetic patients present with micro vascular complications. Targeting early vascular changes that precede the catastrophic events culminating in microvascular disease such as Proliferative T2D retinopathy is therefore critical.GDM women, and their babies have a 10- 70% chance of developing T2D postpartum in India. The association of fetal reprogramming in utero involving the GDM placental microvasculature and the development of adult diabetic vasculopathy is of particular relevance in India, where Diabetes and vascular disease are prevalent.

  • Research
  • Research Support

    • European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes / Sanofi Collaborative Programme - 2015.
    • Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India - 2014-2015.
    • Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (Bioengineering). BT/PR7990/MED/32/282/2013. 2013-2016.
    • Science and Engineering Research Board (Fast Track Grant, Department of Science and Technology), Government of India-SERB/LS-196/2012.
    • Department of Biotechnology, Government of India (Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine). 2012-2014. BT/ PR5915/ MED/ 31/ 172.
    • Indian Council of Medical Research: 2012-0803.
    • Christian Medical College, Fluid Research Grants: IRB Min 7737 (2012-2014) and IRB Min 7846 (2012-2014).

    Lab Members



    Selected Publications

    • Nakasaki M, Hwang Y, Xie Y, Kataria S, Gund R, Hajam EY, Samuel R, George R, Danda D, M J P, Nakamura T, Shen Z, Briggs S, Varghese S, Jamora C. The matrix protein Fibulin-5 is at the interface of tissue stiffness and inflammation in fibrosis. Nature Communications, Volume 6, Article 8574, 15 October 2015.
    • Samuel R, Dan G. Duda, Dai Fukumura and Rakesh K. Jain. Vascular diseases await translation of blood vessels engineered from stem cells. Science Translational Medicine 14 Oct 2015: Vol 7, Issue 309, pp 309rv6.
    • Thomas Reiberger, Yunching Chen, Rakesh R Ramjiawan, Tai Hato, Christopher Fan, Samuel R, Sylvie Roberge, Peigen Huang, Gregory Y Lauwers, Andrew X Zhu, Nabeel Bardeesy, Rakesh K Jain, Dan G Duda. An orthotopic mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma with underlying liver cirrhosis. Nat Protoc. 2015 Aug;10(8):1264-1274.
    • Nishanth Gabriel, Samuel R, Giridhara R. Jayandharan. Targeted delivery of AAV-transduced mesenchymal stromal cells to hepatic tissue for ex vivo gene therapy. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, in press (5 June 2015).
    • Samuel R. Spontaneous development of neoplasms in severe combined immunodeficient mice. SAGE open medical case reports. January-December 2015; vol. 3, Jan 19, 2015.
    • Samuel R, Kavitha Ramanathan, Jiji Elizabeth Mathews, Mandalam Subramanian Seshadri. Back to the future: Examining Type 2 Diabetic vasculature using the gestational diabetic placenta. Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research, September 2014 vol. 11 no. 5, 363-365.
    • Chen Y, Huang Y, Reiberger T, Duyverman AM, Huang P, Samuel R, Hiddingh L, Roberge S, Koppel C, Lauwers GY, Zhu AX, Jain RK, Duda DG. Differential effects of sorafenib on liver versus tumor fibrosis mediated by SDF1a/CXCR4 axis and Gr-1+ myeloid cell infiltration in mice. Hepatology. 2014 Apr;59(4):1435-47.
    • Shom Goel, Nisha Gupta, Brian P. Walcott, Matija Snuderl, Cristina T. Kesler, Nathaniel D. Kirkpatrick, Takahiro Heishi, Yuhui Huang, John D. Martin, Eleanor Ager, Samuel R, Shuhan Wang, John Yazbek, Benjamin J. Vakoc, Randall T. Peterson, Timothy P. Padera, Dan G. Duda, Dai Fukumura and Rakesh K. Jain. Effects of Vascular-Endothelial Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Inhibition on Breast Cancer Vasculature and Metastatic Progression. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2013 Aug 21;105(16):1188-201.
    • Samuel R, Laurence Daheron, Shan Liao, Trupti Vardam, Walid S. Kamoun, Ana Batista, Christa Buecker, Richard Schäfer, Xiaoxing Han, Patrick Au, David T. Scadden, Dan G. Duda, Dai Fukumura, and Rakesh K. Jain. Generation of functionally competent and durable engineered blood vessels from human induced pluripotent stem cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jul 30;110(31):12774-9.
    • Liu J, Liao S, Huang Y, Samuel R, Shi T, Nexerova K, Huang P, Kamoun WS, Jain RK, Fukumura D and Xu L. PDGF-D improves drug delivery and efficacy via vascular normalization, but promotes Lymphatic metastasis by activating CXCR4 in breast cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2011 Jun 1; 17(11): 3638-48.
    • Xu L, Duda DG, di Tomaso E, Ancukiewicz M, Chung DC, Lauwers GY, Samuel R, Shellito P, Czito BG, Lin PC, Poleski M, Bentley R, Clark JW, Willett CG, Jain RK. Direct evidence that Bevacizumab, an anti-VEGF Antibody up regulates SDF-1 Alpha CXCR4, CXCR6 and Neuropilin 1 in tumors form patients with rectal cancer. Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 15; 69(20): 7905-10.

    • Jiji Elizabeth Mathews, DGO, MD. Professor and Head, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Unit V, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
    • Santhosh Joseph Benjamin, MS. Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Unit V, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
    • MS Seshadri, MD, PhD, FRCP.Professor and Retired Head of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
    • Gernot Desoye, PhD. Research Director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of Graz, Austria.
    • Colin Jamora, PhD. Associate Professor and Laboratory Director, IFOM-inStem Joint Research Laboratory, Bangalore, India.
    • H. Krishnamurthy, PhD.  Director of Flow Cytometry Facility, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms, NCBS, Bangalore, India.
    • Sukria Nayak, MS, FRCS. Professor and Head, Surgery, Division, IV, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
    • Indrani Sen, MS. MCh Registrar, Division of Vascular Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
    • Renu George, MD. Professor and Head of Dermatology, Unit 1, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
    • Debashish Danda, MD, DM, FRCP. Professor and Head, Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
    • Paul MJ, MS. Professor and Head, Endocrine Surgery, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.