Research Professor and Executive Director
ADDRESS: 4211 Monarch Way, Suite 300, Norfolk, VA, 23508lab website
- PhD: in Biophysics/Radiation Biology, Medical Radiology Research Center, Obninsk, Russia, 1989
- M.S: M.S. in Animal and Human Physiology, Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia 1982
Iurii Semenov , Research Assistant Professor
Vitalii Kim, Postdoctoral fellow
Giedre Silkuniene, Postdoctoral fellow
Mantas Silkunas, Postdoctoral fellow
Uma Mangalanathan, Research associate
Emily Gudvangen, Ph.D. student
The research in our lab is centered on nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF), from molecular and cellular mechanisms to prospective applications in cancer ablation, deep tissue stimulation, and defibrillation. These studies are accomplished by combining advanced live cell microscopy techniques with single cell electrophysiology, targeted electroporation, and diverse cell biology and biochemical methods.
Cell membranes permeabilized by nsPEF become permeable to small ions and water. This effect is explained by the opening of nanometer-size pores. However, the longevity of these pores (minutes) and their complex conductive properties have not been explained. We explore nanoelectropore formation and life cycle, conduction properties, cell stimulation and activation, membrane repair, and cell death mechanisms and pathways.
We recently uncovered bipolar cancellation, a phenomenon that challenges existing electroporation paradigms and may enable targeted remote biostimulation with broad medical applications. Bipolar cancellation is unique to nsPEF and is manifested by profound reduction of biological efficiency if the nsEP polarity is reversed. The bipolar cancellation was demonstrated for effects, from Ca2+ mobilization in excitable and non-excitable cells, to membrane permeabilization and cell death induction. We work towards elucidating the mechanisms responsible for bipolar cancellation and utilize it for biophysical research of excitation and fast ion channel kinetics.
We also developed a new paradigm of focused remote stimulation based on bipolar cancellation. When two pairs of stimulating electrodes are arrayed in a quadrupole, bipolar cancellation inhibits nsPEF effects near the electrodes, where the electric field is the strongest. Two properly shaped and synchronized bipolar nsPEF overlay into a unipolar pulse towards the center of the electrode array, thus canceling the bipolar cancellation (a "CANCAN effect"). CANCAN effect achieved by the interference of two bipolar nsPEF enhanced electroporation up to tenfold, with a peak at the quadrupole center. The CANCAN approach is promising for uniform tumor ablation and stimulation targeting away from electrodes.
The primary effect of nsPEF is a rapid build-up of cell membrane potential (MP). Real-time measurements of MP kinetics are a key to predicting the outcomes of nsPEF stimulation. However, membrane charging by nsPEF occurs on a nanosecond time scale, much faster than could be resolved by the existing electrophysiological and imaging methods. In collaboration with colleagues from AFRL (San Antonio, TX), we have addressed this challenge by implementing strobe pulsed laser microscopy for MP imaging with better than 50 ns accuracy. In this one-of-a-kind set-up, cells loaded with a fast voltage-sensitive fluorescence dye are exposed to high-power momentary laser flashes (5 kW, 6 ns). The flashes are dynamically synchronized with nsPEF stimulation. Photos of fluorescence taken at different times during and after nsPEF show the real-time dynamics of MP changes and how these changes culminate in downstream effects, such as opening of voltage gated ion channels, initiation of action potentials, and nanoelectroporation.
Most relevant publications
- Pakhomov AG, Emily Gudvangen E, Xiao S, Semenov I. Interference targeting of bipolar nanosecond electric pulses for spatially focused electroporation, electrostimulation, and tissue ablation. Bioelectrochemistry. 2021 Oct;141:107876.
- Pakhomov AG, Pakhomova ON. The interplay of excitation and electroporation in nanosecond pulse stimulation. Bioelectrochemistry. 2020 Dec;136:107598.
- Casciola M, Xiao S, Apollonio F, Paffi A, Liberti M, Muratori C, Pakhomov AG. Cancellation of nerve excitation by the reversal of nanosecond stimulus polarity and its relevance to the gating time of sodium channels. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2019 Nov;76(22):4539-4550.
- Gianulis EC, Labib C, Saulis G, Novickij V, Pakhomova ON, Pakhomov AG. Selective susceptibility to nanosecond pulsed electric field (nsPEF) across different human cell types. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2017 May;74(9):1741-1754.
- Pakhomov AG, Semenov I, Xiao S, Pakhomova ON, Gregory B, Schoenbach KH, Ullery JC, Beier HT, Rajulapati SR, Ibey BL. Cancellation of cellular responses to nanoelectroporation by reversing the stimulus polarity. Cell Mol Life Sci 2014;71(22):4431-4441.
Awards and Honors
- 2020-2021 Co-Editor (with P.T. Vernier) Bioelectrochemistry Special Issue: Electropermeabilization
- 2019-present Editorial Board, International Journal of Molecular Science
- 2016-present Editorial Board, Bioelectrochemistry
- 2015-present Editorial Board, Scientific Reports
- 2004-present Associate Editor (2004-2020), Editorial Board (2020-present), Bioelectromagnetics
- 2011-2014 Editorial Board, ISRN Biophysics
- 2009-2010 Book Editor (with M. Markov and D. Miklavčič): Advanced Electroporation Techniques in Biology and Medicine. CRC Press, June 2010. ISBN: 9781439819067, 528 p.
- 2003-2004 Guest Editor, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science
Ad Hoc Grant Review Panels
- NIH, Special Emphasis Panels and Study Sections: G10, ZAT1-CP-15, TTT, ZAT1-G15, NTRC, ZAT1 RB (02), 2010/01 NT
- The Israel Science Foundation
- Life Sciences Division, Physical Sciences Directorate of US Army Research Office (ARO)
- Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, National Radiation Protection Board (MTHR-NRPB), UK
- U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF)
- Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation, Tbilisi, Georgia
- The Italian Ministry of Health
- Cures Within Reach, VA, USA
- AFOSR LUCI Fellowship Program
- Czech Science Foundation
Other Panels, Boards, Committees
- 2020 Scientific Program Committee Member, ISEBTT 4th World Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark, September 19-23, 2021 (postponed).
- 2020 Organizer of the 4th MURI/AFOSR Workshop, "Advances in biostimulation with nanosecond pulsed electric fields", BioEM2020, Oxford, UK, June 21-26, 2020 (canceled).
- 2019 Organizer of the 3rd MURI/AFOSR Workshop, "Bipolar Cancellation of Nanosecond Pulse Stimulation and Electropermeabilization: From Mechanisms to Applications", 3rd World Congress on Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments, Toulouse, France, September 2019.
- 2019 Scientific Program Committee, 3rd World Congress on Electroporation and Pulsed Electric Fields in Biology, Medicine, and Food & Environmental Technologies, Toulouse, France, from Sept. 3-6, 2019
- 2018 Organizer of the 2nd MURI/AFOSR Workshop, "Nanoelectropulse-induced electromechanical signaling and control of biological systems", BioEM2018, Piran, Slovenia, June 24-29 2018.
- 2018 Organizer of a MURI Synergy Developing Workshop, Norfolk, VA, January 2018.
- 2017 Local Organizing Committee member, 2nd World Congress on Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments, Norfolk, VA, September 2017
- 2017 Convener of a Special MURI/AFOSR Workshop, 2nd World Congress on Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments, Norfolk, VA, September 2017.
- 2016 Technical Program Committee, BioEM 2015, Ghent, Belgium, June 2016.
- 2015 Technical Program Committee, BioEM 2015, Asilomar, CA, June 2015.
- 2014 Session Leader, Gordon Conference on Bioelectrochemistry, 07/06-11/2014, Biddeford ME
- 2014 Technical Program Committee, BioEM 2014, Cape Town, South Africa, June 2014.
- 2012-2013 Endowed Professor Search Committee Chair, FRRCBE ODU.
- 2011-2012 Faculty Search Committee Chair, FRRCBE ODU.
- 2011 Technical Program Committee, 33rd Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, Halifax, Canada, 12-17 June 2011.
- 2010 International Advisory Committee, 6th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Bodrum, Turkey, Oct. 10-14, 2010
- 2009-2010 Technical Program Committee, 32nd Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, June 2010, Seoul, Korea.
- 2008-2012 Membership Committee, Bioelectromagnetics Society
- 2008-2011 D'Arsonval Awards Committee, Bioelectromagnetics Society
- 2008-2011 Board of Directors, Bioelectromagnetics Society
- 2008 Organizing Committee, UNESCO Seminar ""Electromagnetic Fields: Mechanisms of Action and Dosimetry," 24-26 October 2008, Yerevan, Armenia.
- 2008 Program Committee, the 30th Annual Meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, June 8-12, San Diego, CA.
- 2005 International Organizing Committee, UNESCO/WHO International Seminar "Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Biological Effects of EMF", March 1-2, 2005, Yerevan, Armenia, and NATO Advanced Research Workshop, "The Mechanisms of the Biological Effect of Extremely High Power Pulses," March 3-5, 2005, Yerevan, Armenia.
- 2003 Program Committee, Electromed 2003 Meeting, San Antonio, TX, June 11-13, 2003.
- 2002 Organizing Committee, 3rd International Conference "Problems of Electromagnetic Safety of the Human Being," Sept. 17-24, 2002, Moscow-St. Petersburg, Russia
- 2001-2004 D'Arsonval Awards Committee, Bioelectromagnetics Society
- 2000-2002 Review/coordination panel for AFOSR research grants awarded via International Science and Technology Center (ISTC)
- 2000 Organizing Committee, UNESCO Seminar "Cellular Mechanism of Beneficial and Harmful Effects of Electromagnetic Fields", Sept. 24 - Oct. 3, 2000, Yerevan, Armenia
- 1999 Organizing Committee, 2nd International Conference "Problems of Electromagnetic Safety of the Human Being," Sept. 20-24, 1999, Moscow, Russia
- 1988-1990 Coordinator of a joint research project "Microwave Effects on Excitable Membranes", Medical Radiology Research Inst. (Obninsk, Russia) and Experimental Biology Inst. (Yerevan, Armenia)
Expert Panel Invited Workshops
- 2020 AFOSR Biophysics Program Review Workshop (online), 31 Aug - 4 Sep, 2020
- 2019 AFOSR Biophysics Program Review Workshop, Arlington, VA, May 6-10, 2019
- 2018 AFOSR Biophysics Program Review Workshop, Arlington, VA, April 16-21, 2018
- 2015 NIH Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) Strategic Planning Workshop: Biology & Technology, Bethesda, Maryland, February 25-26, 2015
- 2014 AFOSR Biophysics Meeting, San Antonio, TX, November 5-6
- 2011 Workshop "Photo-Electro-Magnetic Biostimulation (PEMB) for Enhancement of Performance and Protection," San Antonio, TX, Nov. 1-2, 2011
- 2003 Kick-off workshop for UK-USA "Tiger Lake" Research Collaboration Agreement, Porton Dawn, UK
- 2002 World Health Organization Workshop on Adverse Temperature Levels In Human Body (WHO, Geneva, Switzerland, March 21-23, 2002)
- 2001 International Workshop "Physical Effects of Pulsed RF Fields at Microscopic and Molecular Dimensions (Microdosimetry)", Dresden, Germany, December 17-19, 2001.
- 2000 Finnish - Russian Research Workshop, "Biomedical Research with Microwaves in Russia and the Former Soviet Union," April 24-30, 2000, Helsinki, Finlan.
- 2012 Most Influential Bioelectromagnetics Journal Paper Award
- 2012 Travel Award, Bioelectromagnetics Society 34th Annual Meeting, Brisbane, Australia, June 17-22, 2012.
- 2005 Travel Award, Trinity College Bioelectromagnetics Seminar (June 21, 2005), Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
- 2010 Travel Award, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug. 2010.
- 1994-1997 National Research Council Resident Research Associateship Award
- 1993 G. Soros Foundation travel award, Bled, Slovenia
- 1992 G. Soros Foundation FSU scientist award
Awards to Supervised Students and Postdocs
- Maura Casciola, postdoctoral fellow
- Arthur Pilla Young Scientist Award at 2018 BioEM Annual Meeting, Portoroz, Slovenia, Jun 2018.
- Early Career Investigators 1st place Award in Biomedical Engineering at 2nd World Congress on Electroporation 2017, Norfolk, VA, USA, Sept. 2017.
- Elena Gianulis, postdoctoral fellow
- Early Career Investigators 3rd place Award in Biomedical Engineering at 2nd World Congress on Electroporation 2017, Norfolk, VA, USA, Sept. 2017.
- M. Rassokhin, PhD student
- Bioelectromagnetics Society EBTT Workshop Travel Award, 2011
- Old Dominion University Division of Student Affairs ASCB Meeting Travel Award, 2010
- Old Dominion University Biology Department ASCB Meeting Travel Award, 2010
- 1st place poster award, 7th International Bioelectrics Symposium, Norfolk, VA 2010
Invited and keynote presentations at international conferences (with titles for recent presentations only)
- 2021 "Nanosecond Pulsed Electric Field Stimulation: From Small Pores to Big-time Applications" Michael E. Horn Emerging Technologies Symposium: Advanced Biological Tools for Biotechnology Applications, Society for in Vitro Biology, June 7-11, 2021 (online)
- 2020 "Distant stimulation and tissue ablation with high-intensity nanosecond electric pulses" 7th International Winter school on Bioelectronics, Kirchberg in Tirol, Austria, March 14 21, 2020. /canceled/
- 2019 "Megahertz compression of nanosecond electric pulses for cardiac stimulation and defibrillation" Symposium "Modern Heart Physiology," 6th Physiology Congress of UIS, Sochi, Russia, October 1-6, 2019.
- 2019 "Lowering stimulation threshold by megahertz compression of nanosecond pulse bursts". Workshop "Towards an innovative use of ultrashort electric pulses in medicine: from biological effects to therapeutic applications," BioEM2019, Montpellier, France, June 27, 2018.
- 2019 "Basics of electroporation and cellular effects of nanosecond pulsed electric fields " International Bio School "Current topics in Radiation Biology", May 20-24, 2019, Obninsk, Russia
- 2018 "Second phase amplitude determines the efficiency of electroporation by bipolar nanosecond pulses" Bioelectrics 2018, Prague, Czech Republic, Sept. 24-26 2018.
- 2018 "Advances in electroporation and activation of cells by nanosecond stimuli" BioEM2018, Piran, Slovenia, June 24-29 2018.
- 2017 "Going bipolar with nanosecond pulses: How to control bioeffects with the pulse shape" 2nd World Congress on Electroporation-Based Technologies and Treatments, Norfolk, VA, September 2017.
- 2012 Gordon Research Conference on Bioelectrochemistry, July 1-6, 2012, Lucca (Barga), Italy
- 2012 Bioelectromagnetics Society 34th Annual Meeting, Brisbane, Australia, June 17-22, 2012.
- 2012 US AFRL Workshop "EMF High-Peak-Power Pulse Bio effects and Standards" Brisbane, Australia, June 17, 2012.
- 2011 Workshop "Photo-Electro-Magnetic Biostimulation (PEMB) for Enhancement of Performance and Protection," San Antonio, TX, Nov. 1-2, 2011
- 2010 6th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Bodrum, Turkey, Oct. 10-14, 2010
- 2010 ITBA Workshop on Health Technologies, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept.1, 2010
- 2010 Taller Satellite: Electric Fields in Tumors: Biophysical Foundations and Clinical Experiences, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Aug. 31, 2010
- 2010 Gordon Research Conference on Bioelectrochemistry, July 11-16, 2010, Univ. New England, Biddeford, ME
- 2010 Bioelectromagnetics Society Winter Workshop, San Antonio, TX, Feb. 5-6, 2010
- 2009 Electroporation-based Technologies and Treatments 2009, International scientific workshop and postgraduate course. Nov. 15-22, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- 2009 World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Sept 7-12, 2009, Munich, Germany.
- 2009 US AFRL Workshop "Bioeffects of High-Peak-Power Pulses", June 14, 2009, Davos, Switzerland.
- 2008 UNESCO Seminar "Electromagnetic Fields: Mechanisms of Action and Health Effects," 24-26 Oct. 2008, Yerevan, Armenia.
- 2008 5th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Sept. 28 - Oct. 2. 2008, Città del Mare, Terrasini, Palermo, Italy.
- 2008 US AFRLR Workshop "Nanosecond Pulses", June 8, San Diego, CA.
- 2007 Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) 29th Annual Meeting, June 11-15, 2007, Kanazawa, Japan.
- 2007 International EMF Conference, June 4-8, 2007, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- 2007 International Workshop on Bioelectrics, Feb. 7-8, 2007, Kumamoto, Kumamoto Univ., Japan
- 2005 Trinity College Bioelectromagnetics Seminar (June 21, 2005), Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
- 2005 Bioelectromagnetics 2005 Meeting (BioEM 2005), June 19-24, 2005, Dublin, Ireland.
- 2005 NATO Advanced Research Workshop, "The Mechanisms of the Biological Effect of Extremely High Power Pulses," March 3-5, 2005, Yerevan, Armenia.
- 2005 European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research (EU Action COST 281) workshop "The role of the signal time course in potential EMF-health effects including ultrashort high peak power, and ultra-wideband pulses," Feb. 17-18, 2005, Zurich, Switzerland.
- 2004 Gordon Research Conference on Bioelectrochemistry, July 25-30, 2004, New London, CT.
- 2004 Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) 26th Annual Meeting, June 21-24, 2004, Washington, DC.
- 2004 The Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine (SPRBM), 22nd Annual Meeting, Jan. 7-9, 2004, San Antonio, TX.
- 2003 US Air Force Research Laboratory 9th Workshop, Wailea, Maui, HI.
- 2000 UNESCO Seminar "Cellular Mechanism of Beneficial and Harmful Effects of Electromagnetic Fields", Sept. 24 - Oct. 3, 2000, Yerevan, Armenia.
- 1999 International Seminar "Biological Effects, Health Consequences and Standards for Pulsed Radiofrequency Fields", Nov. 21-25, 1999, Erice, Sicily, Italy.
- 1999 12th IEEE International Pulsed Power Conference, June 27-30, 1999, Monterey, CA.
- 1999 1st International Symposium on Nonthermal Medical/Biological Treatments Using Electromagnetic Fields and Ionized Gases, April 12-14, 1999, Norfolk, VA.
- 1998 NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Radiofrequency Radiation Dosimetry, October 12-16, 1998, Gozd Martuljek, Slovenia.
- 1995 Michaelson Research Conference, August 1995, Kallispel, MO.
- 2020 Department of Medical Engineering, U. of South Florida, Tampa, FL: "Nanosecond pulsed electric field stimulation: From small pores to big-time applications"
- 2019 Inst. of Immunology and Physiology, Ural Subdivision of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, Ekaterinburg, Russia: "Nanosecond pulse stimulation and electropermeabilization: from mechanisms to applications"
- 2018 Pulse Biosciences, Hayward, CA: "Cellular and Membrane Effects of Nanosecond Electric Pulses"
- 2010 Department of Biology, Old Dominion Univ., Norfolk, VA: Nanoelectropores of Cell Plasma Membrane
- 2008 NIH (NHLBI), Biochemistry and Biophysics Center: Anomalous Nanoelectropores of Cell Plasma Membrane
- 2006 Inst. of Biophysics, Moscow, Russia: Membrane permeabilization by nanosecond pulses
- 2002 Lawson Health Research Inst., London, ON, Canada: Bioeffects of extremely-high-peak power microwaves
- 1999 Neurophysiology Department, Southampton Hospital, Southampton, UK: Search for specific bioeffects of high-peak power microwaves
- 1998 Univ. of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX: In vitro research on bioeffects of high-peak power microwaves
- In the top 2% of most-cited scientists in his research field in 2020 - Stanford study