Reena Kartha, MS, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology (ECP) and Associate Director, Translational Pharmacology
Reena Kartha


Office Phone
Office Address

4-214, McGuire Translational Research Facility
2001 6th St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Lab Address

Center for Orphan Drug Research Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology
2001, 6th St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Administrative Assistant

Lori Endsley


Associate Professor, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology (ECP)
Associate Director, Translational Pharmacology


Molecular and Cellular Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Biotechnology, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India

Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural University, India

Academic Interests

Development of therapies and novel biomarkers for rare diseases

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Our lab focuses on deciphering the pathophysiological role of oxidative stress and inflammation in rare disorders occurring due to an inherited error of metabolism. We conduct studies to elucidate the mechanism of action of drugs using cellular and animal models, with the long-term goal of developing new therapies or optimizing existing treatments. Our research also include identification of novel protein- or miRNA-based biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment response using patient derived samples.


Molecular pharmacology; Biomarker analysis; rare inherited metabolic disorders

Awards & Recognition

2017 CTSI Outstanding Junior Mentor of the Year

NIH Rare Disease Clinical Research Network (RDCRN) Certificate Training Scholar (2016-17) 

Lysosomal Disease Network Clinical Fellow (2016-18) 

Senior Research Fellowship from Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, India 

M.S. Swaminathan award for best scholar in Biotechnology, Coimbatore, India

Merit scholarship from Department of Biotechnology, New Delhi, India

Research Summary

Dr. Kartha's research interests are in deciphering the pathophysiological role of oxidative stress in disease conditions such as neurodegenerative disorders and ischemia/reperfusion injury. Her research involves understanding the molecular pharmacology of antioxidants and other drugs used to treat these conditions using cell culture and animal models and identification of novel protein- or miRNA-based biomarkers for early diagnosis of these conditions and as markers of response to therapy using patient derived samples.

Teaching Areas

Introduction to rare diseases


Gaucher disease and SARS-CoV-2 infection: Emerging management challenges.
Mistry P, Balwani M, Barbouth D, Burrow TA, Ginns EI, Goker-Alpan O, Grabowski GA, Kartha RV, Kishnani PS, Lau H, Lee CU, Lopez G, Maegawa G, Packman S, Prada C, Rosenbloom B, Lal TR, Schiffmann R, Weinreb N, Sidransky E.Mol Genet Metab. 2020 Jul;130(3):164-169. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2020.05.002. Epub 2020 May 11.PMID: 32471800

GBA1 mutations: Prospects for exosomal biomarkers in α-synuclein pathologies.
Johnson PH, Weinreb NJ, Cloyd JC, Tuite PJ, Kartha RV.Mol Genet Metab. 2020 Feb;129(2):35-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2019.10.006. Epub 2019 Oct 23.PMID: 31761523

N-acetylcysteine Provides Cytoprotection in Murine Oligodendrocytes through Heme Oxygenase-1 Activity.
Zhou J, Terluk MR, Basso L, Mishra UR, Orchard PJ, Cloyd JC, Schröder H, Kartha RV.Biomedicines. 2020 Jul 23;8(8):240. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines8080240.PMID: 32717964

Patients with Gaucher disease display systemic oxidative stress dependent on therapy status.
Kartha RV, Terluk MR, Brown R, Travis A, Mishra UR, Rudser K, Lau H, Jarnes JR, Cloyd JC, Weinreb NJ.Mol Genet Metab Rep. 2020 Dec 9;25:100667. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgmr.2020.100667. eCollection 2020 Dec.PMID: 33335836

Neurochemical abnormalities in patients with type 1 Gaucher disease on standard of care therapy.
Kartha RV, Joers J, Terluk MR, Travis A, Rudser K, Tuite PJ, Weinreb NJ, Jarnes JR, Cloyd JC, Öz G.J Inherit Metab Dis. 2020 May;43(3):564-573. doi: 10.1002/jimd.12182. Epub 2019 Dec 17.PMID: 31613991

Ahmed MA, Okour M, Brundage R, Kartha RV. Orphan Drug Development: The Increasing Role of Clinical Pharmacology. Journal of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics 2019 Jul 23 doi: 10.1007/s10928-019-09646-3

Terluk M, Ebeling M, Fisher C, Kapphahn R, Yuan C, Kartha RV, Montezuma SR, Ferrington DA. N-acetyl-L-cysteine protects human retinal pigment epithelial cells from oxidative damage: Implications for Age-related Macular Degeneration. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity vol. 2019, Article ID 5174957, 14 pages, 2019.

Kartha RV, Joers J, Terluk M, Tuite P, Mishra U, Rudser K, Oz G, Weinreb N, Jarnes J, Cloyd JC. Preliminary N-acetylcysteine results for LDN 6722 - Role of oxidative stress and inflammation in Gaucher disease type 1: Potential use of antioxidant anti-inflammatory medications. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 2019, 126 (2) S82

Cheung C, Bhimani R, Wyman JF, Konczak J, Zhang J, Mishra U, Terluk M, Kartha RV, Tuite P. Effects of Yoga on Oxidative Stress, Motor Function, and Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Pilot and Feasibility Studies. 2018, 4:162. doi: 10.1186/s40814-018-0355-8. eCollection 2018.

Coles LD, Tuite PJ, Öz G, Mishra UR, Kartha RV, Sullivan KM, Cloyd JC, Terpstra, M. Repeated-Dose Oral N-Acetylcysteine in Parkinson's Disease: Pharmacokinetics and Effect on Brain Glutathione and Oxidative Stress. J Clin Pharmacol. 2018 Feb;58(2):158-167. doi: 10.1002/jcph.1008. (Epub 2017 Sep 22).

Kartha RV, Joers J, Terluk M, Tuite P, Mishra U, Rudser K, Oz G, Jarnes J, Cloyd JC. Blood and Brain Biomarkers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Type 1 Gaucher Disease: Effect of Antioxidant Therapy. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 2018, 123 S15–S153 doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2017.12.186

Kartha RV, Curtin B, Yuan C, Subramanian S, Patterson E, Cloyd JC. Circulating MicroRNA Expression Varies with Time Following Seizure Episodes in Naturally Occurring Canine Epilepsy. AES 2017 Annual Meeting Abstract Database,

Pusalavidyasagar S, Kartha, RV, Abbasi, A. Effect of Periodic Limb Movements on Plasma Nitric Oxide Levels in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep and Breathing conference, ERJ Open Research 2017, 3, S1 DOI: 10.1183/23120541.sleepandbreathing-2017.P87.

Kartha RV, Joers J, Tuite P, Hovde L, Mishra U, Rudser K, Oz G, Utz JJ, Cloyd JC. Role of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Type 1 Gaucher Disease (GD1): Potential Use of Antioxidant/Anti-inflammatory Medications. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 2017, 120, S1-S162 doi:10.1016/j.ymgme.2016.11.175

Basu C, Ahmed M, Kartha RV, Brundage RC, Raymond, GV, Cloyd JC, Carlin BP. A hierarchical Bayesian approach for combining pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modeling and Phase IIa trial design in orphan drugs: treating Adrenoleukodystrophy with Lorenzo’s Oil. Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics. 2016, 26(6):1025-1039 (doi: 10.1080/10543406.2016.1226326)

Ahmed M, Kartha RV, Brundage R, Cloyd JC, Basu C, Carlin BP, Jones RO, Moser AB, Fatemi A, Raymond GV. A Model-Based approach to assess the exposure-response relationship of Lorenzo’s Oil in Adrenoleukodystrophy. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2016, 81(6): 1058-1066. (doi: 10.1111/bcp.12897 Epub ahead of print).

Kartha RV, Sarver A, Curtin B, Balzekas I, White J, Cloyd JC, Subramanian S, Koh S. Early Life Seizure Alters MicroRNA Expression in the Cortex in a Two-Hit Murine Model of Epileptogenesis. AES 2016 Annual Meeting Abstract Database,

Coles L, Kartha RV, Terpstra M, Oz G, Hovde L, Cloyd J, Tuite P. Effect of High-Dose Oral NAC on Systemic Measures of Oxidative Stress in Individuals with Parkinson Disease and Healthy Elderly Subjects. Thirtieth annual symposium on etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment of Parkinson disease and other movement disorders. Movement Disorders, 2016, 31, Suppl. 9: E13

Kartha RV, Elnashar G, Hovde L, Mishra U, Utz J, Cloyd JC. Characterization of oxidative stress and inflammation in type 1 Gaucher disease-method evaluation and preliminary analysis. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 2016, 117, S14–S124 doi:10.1016/j.ymgme.2015.12.314

Kartha RV, Zhou J, Basso L, Schröder H, Orchard PJ, Cloyd J. Mechanisms of antioxidant induction with high-dose N-Acetylcysteine in Childhood Cerebral Adrenoleukodystrophy. CNS Drugs, 2015, 29(12):1041-7. (doi: 10.1007/s40263-015-0300-9 Epub ahead of print)

Zhou J, Coles LD, Kartha RV, Mishra U, Nash N, Lund T, Cloyd JC. Intravenous administration of stable-labeled N-acetylcysteine demonstrates an indirect mechanism for boosting glutathione and improving redox status. J Pharm Sci, 2015, 104(8):2619-26. (doi: 10.1002/jps.24482 Epub 2015 Jun 5).