Medical College of Wisconsin
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Kajana Satkunendrarajah PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Neurosurgery
Division of Research

VA Medical Center
5000 W National Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53295

1995 - 1999 B.S., University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada
2002 - 2008 Ph.D., Wayne State School of Medicine, Detroit, MI

2011 - 2014 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Krembil Research Institute, Toronto, ON

04/2019 - Present Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Research, The Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc., Milwaukee, WI

- 2019 Imagine More Award, The Medical College of Wisconsin

Refereed Journal Publications/Original Papers
1. Kajana S, Goshgarian HG. Administration of phosphodiesterase inhibitors and an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist induces phrenic nerve recovery in high cervical spinal cord injured rats. Exp Neurol. 2008 Apr;210(2):671-80. PMCID: PMC2377457
2. Kajana S, Goshgarian HG. Spinal activation of the cAMP-PKA pathway induces respiratory motor recovery following high cervical spinal cord injury. Brain Res. 2008 Sep 26;1232:206-13. PMCID: PMC2573999
3. Kajana S, Goshgarian HG. Systemic administration of rolipram increases medullary and spinal cAMP and activates a latent respiratory motor pathway after high cervical spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2009;32(2):175-82. PMCID: PMC2678289
4. Lee J, Satkunendrarajah K, Fehlings MG. Development and characterization of a novel rat model of cervical spondylotic myelopathy: the impact of chronic cord compression on clinical, neuroanatomical, and neurophysiological outcomes. J Neurotrauma. 2012 Mar 20;29(5):1012-27.
5. Austin JW, Kang CE, Baumann MD, DiDiodato L, Satkunendrarajah K, Wilson JR, Stanisz GJ, Shoichet MS, Fehlings MG. The effects of intrathecal injection of a hyaluronan-based hydrogel on inflammation, scarring and neurobehavioural outcomes in a rat model of severe spinal cord injury associated with arachnoiditis. Biomaterials. 2012 Jun;33(18):4555-64.
6. Cho N, Nguyen DH, Satkunendrarajah K, Branch DR, Fehlings MG. Evaluating the role of IL-11, a novel cytokine in the IL-6 family, in a mouse model of spinal cord injury. J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Jun 20;9:134. PMCID: PMC3410772
7. Nguyen DH, Cho N, Satkunendrarajah K, Austin JW, Wang J, Fehlings MG. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) attenuates neuroinflammation and improves neurobehavioral recovery after cervical spinal cord injury. J Neuroinflammation. 2012 Sep 21;9:224. PMCID: PMC3503837
8. Karadimas SK, Moon ES, Yu WR, Satkunendrarajah K, Kallitsis JK, Gatzounis G, Fehlings MG. A novel experimental model of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) to facilitate translational research. Neurobiol Dis. 2013 Jun;54:43-58.
9. Wu Y, Satkunendrarajah K, Teng Y, Chow DS, Buttigieg J, Fehlings MG. Delayed post-injury administration of riluzole is neuroprotective in a preclinical rodent model of cervical spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Mar 15;30(6):441-52. PMCID: PMC3696918
10. Liu Y, Ye H, Satkunendrarajah K, Yao GS, Bayon Y, Fehlings MG. A self-assembling peptide reduces glial scarring, attenuates post-traumatic inflammation and promotes neurological recovery following spinal cord injury. Acta Biomater. 2013 Sep;9(9):8075-88.
11. Satkunendrarajah K, Fehlings MG. Do omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids ameliorate spinal cord injury?: Commentary on: Lim et al., Improved outcome after spinal cord compression injury in mice treated with docosahexaeonic acid. Exp. Neurol. Jan; 239:13-27. Exp Neurol. 2013 Nov;249:104-10.
12. Zhao X, Yao GS, Liu Y, Wang J, Satkunendrarajah K, Fehlings M. The role of neural precursor cells and self assembling peptides in nerve regeneration. J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Dec 19;42(1):60. PMCID: PMC3878249
13. Wu Y, Satkunendrarajah K, Fehlings MG. Riluzole improves outcome following ischemia-reperfusion injury to the spinal cord by preventing delayed paraplegia. Neuroscience. 2014 Apr 18;265:302-12.
14. Figley SA, Liu Y, Karadimas SK, Satkunendrarajah K, Fettes P, Spratt SK, Lee G, Ando D, Surosky R, Giedlin M, Fehlings MG. Delayed administration of a bio-engineered zinc-finger VEGF-A gene therapy is neuroprotective and attenuates allodynia following traumatic spinal cord injury. PLoS One. 2014;9(5):e96137. PMCID: PMC4028194
15. Forgione N, Karadimas SK, Foltz WD, Satkunendrarajah K, Lip A, Fehlings MG. Bilateral contusion-compression model of incomplete traumatic cervical spinal cord injury. J Neurotrauma. 2014 Nov 01;31(21):1776-88. PMCID: PMC4186801
16. Wilcox JT, Satkunendrarajah K, Zuccato JA, Nassiri F, Fehlings MG. Neural precursor cell transplantation enhances functional recovery and reduces astrogliosis in bilateral compressive/contusive cervical spinal cord injury. Stem Cells Transl Med. 2014 Oct;3(10):1148-59. PMCID: PMC4181397
17. Satkunendrarajah K, Nassiri F, Karadimas SK, Lip A, Yao G, Fehlings MG. Riluzole promotes motor and respiratory recovery associated with enhanced neuronal survival and function following high cervical spinal hemisection. Exp Neurol. 2016 Feb;276:59-71.
18. Moonen G, Satkunendrarajah K, Wilcox JT, Badner A, Mothe A, Foltz W, Fehlings MG, Tator CH. A New Acute Impact-Compression Lumbar Spinal Cord Injury Model in the Rodent. J Neurotrauma. 2016 Feb 01;33(3):278-89. PMCID: PMC4744888
19. Wilcox JT, Satkunendrarajah K, Nasirzadeh Y, Laliberte AM, Lip A, Cadotte DW, Foltz WD, Fehlings MG. Generating level-dependent models of cervical and thoracic spinal cord injury: Exploring the interplay of neuroanatomy, physiology, and function. Neurobiol Dis. 2017 Sep;105:194-212.
20. Suzuki H, Ahuja CS, Salewski RP, Li L, Satkunendrarajah K, Nagoshi N, Shibata S, Fehlings MG. Neural stem cell mediated recovery is enhanced by Chondroitinase ABC pretreatment in chronic cervical spinal cord injury. PLoS One. 2017;12(8):e0182339. PMCID: PMC5542671
21. Satkunendrarajah K, Karadimas SK, Laliberte AM, Montandon G, Fehlings MG. Cervical excitatory neurons sustain breathing after spinal cord injury. Nature. 2018 Oct;562(7727):419-422.
22. Karadimas SK, Satkunendrarajah K, Laliberte AM, Ringuette D, Weisspapir I, Li L, Gosgnach S, Fehlings MG. Sensory cortical control of movement. Nat Neurosci. 2020 Jan;23(1):75-84.
23. Reinhardt DR, Stehlik KE, Satkunendrarajah K, Kroner A. Bilateral cervical contusion spinal cord injury: A mouse model to evaluate sensorimotor function. Exp Neurol. 2020 Sep;331:113381.
24. Zholudeva LV, Abraira VE, Satkunendrarajah K, McDevitt TC, Goulding MD, Magnuson DSK, Lane MA. Spinal Interneurons as Gatekeepers to Neuroplasticity after Injury or Disease. J Neurosci. 2021 Feb 03;41(5):845-854. PMCID: PMC7880285
25. Laliberte AM, Karadimas SK, Vidal PM, Satkunendrarajah K, Fehlings MG. <i>Mir21</i> modulates inflammation and sensorimotor deficits in cervical myelopathy: data from humans and animal models. Brain Commun. 2021;3(1):fcaa234. PMCID: PMC7878254
26. Schrank S, Satkunendrarajah K. Viral tools for mapping and modulating neural networks after spinal cord injury. Exp Neurol. 2022 May;351:113995.
27. Satkunendrarajah K, Karadimas SK, Fehlings MG. Spinal cord injury and degenerative cervical myelopathy. Handb Clin Neurol. 2022;189:241-257.