Luis Polo-Parada, PhD


University of Missouri researcher Dr. Luis Polo-Parada advances
cardiovascular research and nanomedicine.

The heart is triggered to beat by a specialized electrical
system. Polo-Parada studies how electrical activity develops
in different regions of the heart. Specifically, he investigates
the extracellular matrix (ECM), a complex architectural
network of proteins that provides strength and plasticity.
The role of ECM proteins during cardiac development is
poorly understood; Polo-Parada is working to shed light
on how these proteins impact both the developing and the
adult heart.

Polo-Parada also specializes in nanotechnology, using
molecular-sized particles to treat targeted cells while
minimizing damage to healthy cells. He is developing
nanomaterials for imaging (bio-photonics), diagnosis and
tissue manipulation. Additionally, Polo-Parada was part of a
team of researchers who devised a new tool that could lead
to better and faster melanoma diagnosis. Using an emerging
technique called photoacoustic spectroscopy, the team
modified a microscope to enable irregular, dark melanoma
cells to be easily seen and studied.

Polo-Parada has published numerous scholarly articles
about his research. He is a member of the Society for
Neuroscience, the Biophysical Society and the American
Heart Association (AHA). He is also a recipient of the AHA’s
National Scientist Development Award.

Dr. Luis Polo-Parada is an associate professor of medical
pharmacology and physiology in the School of Medicine and
an investigator at Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center.

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Academic Information

Associate Professor


134 Research Park Drive
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

P. 573-884-4599

Research Interests

  • Heart Development
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nano-medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Biophotonics

Areas of Expertise

  • Electrophysiology
  • Patch Clamp
  • Intracellular Recordings
  • Biophysics
  • Photo-acoustics
  • Nanotechnology
  • Nano-medicine
  • Development Neuromuscular Development
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Cell Culture
  • Microscopy

Education & Training

Post-Graduate School

1996, MS, University of Connecticut; 1999, PhD, Case Western Reserve University

Awards & Honors

  • 2 Patents
  • Mentor Post-Docs
  • Mentor PhD students
  • Mentor MS students
  • Research Foundation Fellowship. University of Connecticut 1994.
  • Neuroscience Fellowship. University of Connecticut 1994.
  • Neuroscience Fellowship. Case Western Reserve University 1997-1999.


  • Jeremy B. Essner,   Charles H. Laber,   Tyler Scoot,  Luis Polo-Parada and   Gary A. Baker (2016). Domestic Pressure Cooker as Inexpensive Hydrothermal Vessel: Demonstrated Utility for Eco- friendly Synthesis of Non-toxic Carbon Dots. Nano_structures & Nano-Objects. Volume 6, April 2016, Pages 52-58. doi:10.1016/j.nanoso.2016.02.001.
  • Michiko Watanabe, Andrew M. Rollins, Luis Polo-Parada, Pei Ma, Shi Gu, Michael W. Jenkins (2016). Probing the electrophysiology of the developing heart. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease. Dev. Dis. 20163(1), 10; doi:10.3390/jcdd3010010.
  • Jeremy B. Essner,   Charles H. Laber,   Sudhir Ravula,  Luis Polo-Parada and   Gary A. Baker (2015). Pee-dots: biocompatible fluorescent carbon dots derived from the upcycling of urineGreen Chemistry., 2016,18, 243-250 DOI: 10.1039/C5GC02032H.First published online 21 Sep 2015
  • Sudhir Ravula, Jeremy B. Essner, Wendy A. L, Luis Polo-Parada, Roli Kargupta, Garret J. Hull, Shramik Sengupta, and Gary A. Baker. (2014). Sunlight-assisted route to antimicrobial plasmonic aminoclay catalysts. Nanoscale. Nanoscale.Nanoscale, 2015,7, 86-91 DOI: 10.1039/C4NR04544K DOI: 10.1039/C4NR04544K.
  • A. Guadarrama-Santan, A. Garcia-Valenzuela, F Perez-Jimenez, and Luis Polo-Parada (2014).  Interdigitated capcitance sensors in the mm scale with sub-femtoFarad resolution suitable for monitoring processes in liquid films. Revista Mexicana de Fisica. 60(6):451-459 · November 2014.
  • Francisco I. Ramirez-Perez, Gerardo Gutiérrez-Juárez, Sangho Bok, Keshab Gangopadhyay, Shubhra Gangopadhyay, Gary A. Baker and Luis Polo-Parada (2014). Dye-doped Organosilicate Nanoparticles as cell-preserving labels for photoacoustic signal generations. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechnology. Volume 10, Number 11, November 2014, pp 3337-3350(14).
  • Jorge A. Castorena-Gonzalez, Marius C. Staiculescu, Christopher A. Foote, Luis Polo-Parada and Luis A. Martinez-Lemus (2014). The obligatory role of the actin cytoskeleton on inward remodeling induced by dithiothreitol activation of endogenous transglutaminase in isolated arterioles. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiolg. Feb 15;306(4):H485-95, doi:0.1152/ajpheart.00557.2013. Epub 2013 Dec 13.
  •  Luis Polo-Parada, Gabriel Mettlack, Lauren Peca, Clinton T. Rubin, Florian Plattner and James A Bibb (2014).Enhancement of neuromuscula dynamics and strength behavior using extremely low magnitude mechanical signals in mice. Journal of Biomechanics. J Biomech. 2014 Jan 3;47(1):162-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2013.09.024. Epub 2013 Oct 9.