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Olga Pakhomova


Research Associate Professor

PHONE: +1-757-683-8006

EMAIL: opakhomo@odu.edu

ADDRESS: IRP 2, 4211 Monarch Way, Norfolk, VA, 23508

lab website


  • Postdoctoral Research fellow: University of Texas Health Science Center, Texas, USA, 1999-2009
  • PhD: in Radiation Biology/Biophysics, Medical Radiology Research Center Russian Academy of Medical Sciences (MRRC-RAMS), Russia. 1995
  • M.S: in Microbiology, Moscow State University, Moscow, USSR. 1982

Lab Members

Giedre Silkuniene, Postdoctoral fellow

Research Description

We have studied mechanisms governing cell death and recovery after electric injury for more than ten years. The recent research focuses on the membrane protein machinery recognizing electric stimulation, promoting injury, and participating in plasma membrane repair.

Electric field (EF) causes defects in the cell plasma membrane, the process called electroporation. The electroporation mechanism involves a complex interaction between membrane lipids and membrane proteins. Mechanisms that mediate the impacts of proteins are weakly understood. Our group identifies and characterizes membrane proteins that are pivotal for cell response to EF application. We proved that the TMEM16F ion channel is an essential modulator of cell physiology downstream of EF injury. The extensive search for other vital modulators is in progress. Also, we explore membrane healing machinery, which points to therapy pursuing membrane recovery after electric injury.

Various biochemical, molecular biology approaches, fluorescent life microscopy, single-cell electrophysiology are available in the laboratory and implemented in the research.


Ongoing research projects:

  • Mechanisms of cell membrane repair after electropermeabilization
  • Mechanisms of voltage-gated calcium channel activation by nsPEF
  • Identification of nsPEF-sensitive endogenous ion channels
  • Engagement of ion channels into the downstream cytophysiological effects of nsPEF.


Most relevant publications

  1. Bhattacharya S, Silkunas М, Gudvangen Е, Mangalanathan U, Pakhomova ON, Pakhomov AG. Ca2+ dependence and kinetics of cell membrane repair after electropermeabilization, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes, 2022, Volume 1864, Issue 2, 183823
  2. Pakhomov AG, Pakhomova ON. The interplay of excitation and electroporation in nanosecond pulse stimulation [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 15]. Bioelectrochemistry. 2020: 136, 107598.
  3. Michel O, Pakhomov AG, Casciola M, Saczko J, Kulbacka J, Pakhomova ON. Electropermeabilization does not correlate with plasma membrane lipid oxidation. Bioelectrochemistry. 2020: 132, 107433.
  4. Hristov K, Mangalanathan U, Casciola M, Pakhomova ON, Pakhomov AG. Expression of voltage-gated calcium channels augments cell susceptibility to membrane disruption by nanosecond pulsed electric field. Biochim Biophys Acta Biomembr. 2018 Nov; 1860(11):2175-2183.
  5. Muratori C, Pakhomov AG, Gianulis E, Meads J, Casciola M, Mollica PA, Pakhomova ON. Activation of the phospholipid scramblase TMEM16F by nanosecond pulsed electric fields (nsPEF) facilitates its diverse cytophysiological effects. J Biol Chem. 2017 Nov 24;292(47):19381-19391.
Full list of publications

Awards and Honors

  • 2019 Invited lecturer, Radiation Biology School, Obninsk, Russia
  • 2020 Tenure in Fulbright Specialist Program (2/2020-2/2024)
  • 2020 Invited lecturer, 4th International Wroclaw Scientific School, October 9-10, 2020. Wroclaw, Poland

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