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Faculty and Staff Directory


Archana Unnikrishnan, PhD

Archana Unnikrishnan, PhD

  • Archana Unnikrishnan, PhD, Asst. Professor 
  • Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Director of Research Programs

Office: BRC 354

Mailing address:
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
975 NE 10th Street, BRC 356
Oklahoma City, Ok 73104

(405) 271-8000, ext. 35504


  • Ph.D. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • M.S. University of Madras, India

Research Interests:

  • Nutritional Epigenetics and Aging
  • Unnikrishnan received her doctorate in Nutrition and Food Science from Wayne State University and pursued aging research training at the University of Oklahoma. Unnikrishnan’s research focuses on various aspects of Aging, (1) the effect of dietary restriction (DR) on aging, (2) the effect of dietary restriction on DNA methylation, and (3) the role played by DNA methylation in dietary restriction mediated metabolic/cellular memory. Her preliminary work shows that DR improves glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance within days of starting the restriction reaching significance by 10 days and has a metabolic memory i.e., the effect of DR on insulin sensitivity and glucoregulation persists even when DR is discontinued. To understand the mechanism behind the metabolic memory she is studying DNA methylation and is currently using a novel technology to measure the genome-wide patterns of 5mCG and 5hmCG in specific sequences of mice fed ad libitum or a DR diet.  This ongoing study is the first study to determine the role played by DNA methylation in the DR mediated cellular/metabolic memory. Her research also focuses on characterizing the effect of life-long DR on DNA methylation in intestinal stem cells and delineate the functional outcome of these methylation changes with respect to intestinal stem cell regeneration and integrity.

Select Publications:

  • Unnikrishnan, A., Kurup, K., Salmon, A.B., Richardson, A. (2019). Is Rapamycin a Dietary Restriction Mimetic? Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, Mar 11. pii: glz060. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glz060. PMID: 30854544
  • Unnikrishnan, A., Freeman, W. M., Jackson, J., Wren, J., Porter, H., Richardson, A. (2018). The Role of DNA methylation in Epigenetics of Aging. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, doi:10.1016/j.pharmthera2018.11.001, PMID: 30419258.
  • Unnikrishnan, A., Deepa, SS., Heather R. Herd., Richardson A. Extension of Lifespan in Laboratory Mice. (2018). Conn’sHandbook of Models on Human Aging, 2nd edition: Chapter 19: 245-270.
  •  Deepa, S.S., Unnikrishnan, A., Matyi, S., Hadad, N., and Richardson, A. (2018). Necroptosis increases with age and is reduced by dietary restriction. Aging cell, doi:10.1111/acel.12770. PMID: 29696779.
  • Hadad, N; Unnikrishnan, A; Jackson, J; Masser, D; Otalora, L; Stanford, DR; Richardson, A, Freeman WM. Caloric-restriction mitigates hippocampal age-associated differential CG and non-CG methylation (2018). Neurobiol Aging, 67, 53-66. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.03.009. PMID: 29631215.
  • Matyi, S., Jackson, J., Garrett, K., Deepa, SS., and Unnikrishnan, A. Effect of different levels of dietary restriction on glucose homeostasis and metabolic memory (2018). Geroscience: Feb: PubMed PMID: 29455275
  • Unnikrishnan, A., Hadad, N., Masser, DR., Jackson J., Freeman, WM., Richardson, A. (2018). Revisiting the genomic hypomethylation hypothesis of aging. Ann,N.Y.Acad.Sci: doi: 10.1111/nyas.13533. PubMed PMID: 29363785.
  • Masser DR, Hadad N, Porter H, Stout MB, Unnikrishnan A, Stanford DR, Freeman WM. Analysis of DNA modifications in Aging Research (2018). Geroscience. 2018 Feb;40(1):11-29. PubMed PMID: 29327208.
  • Masser, DR., Hadad, N., Mangold, CA., Hunter., Unnikrishnan, A., Ford, MF., Giles, CB., Dozmorov, MG., Wren, JD., Richardson, A., Stanford, DR., Freeman, W. (2017). Sexually divergent DNA methylation patterns with hippocampal aging. Aging Cell: Dec;16(6):1342-1352: PubMed PMID: 28948711.
  • Bhaskaran, S., Unnikrishnan, A., Qaiser, R., Ranjit, R., Matyi, S., Kinter, M and Deepa, SS. (2017) A fish oil rich diet causes mitochondrial uncoupling and mitochondrial unfolded protein response in epididymal white adipose tissue of mice. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 Jul; 108:704-714: PubMed PMID: 28455142.
  • Unnikrishnan, A., Jackson, J., Matyi SA., Hadad, N., Wronowski, B., Georgescu, C., Garrett, KP., Wren, JD., Freeman WM., Richardson, A. (2017) Role of DNA methylation on Dietary Restriction mediated memory effect. Geroscience. Jun;39(3):331-345.  PubMed PMID: 28455142.

Link to full publication list