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Neel K. Krishna , PhD

    • Title:
    • Associate Professor

    • Role:
    • Faculty

    • Faculty Appointments:
    • Additional Certifications:
    • Focus Areas:
    • Human astroviruses; pre-clinical development of a novel inhibitor of the innate immune response in humans

    • Office Location:
    • Lewis Hall

    • Undergraduate Education:
    • Graduate Education:
    • PhD, Pennsylvania State University School of Medicine, Hershey, PA

    • Postdoctoral Education:
    • The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA

    • Medical Education:
    • Residency:
    • Fellowship(s):
    • Board Certification(s):
    • Affiliation(s):
    • Research Interests:
    • Our laboratory has traditionally studied the human astroviruses, a family of non-enveloped, icosahedral RNA viruses that cause gastroenteritis, predominantly in infants. Along with our collaborator, Dr. Kenji Cunnion (Department of Pediatrics), we have demonstrated that astrovirus capsid protein suppresses the complement system, a fundamental component of the innate immune response against pathogens in vertebrates. We have recently defined the complement inhibiting region to a peptide of 15 amino acid residues. We are interested in determining the mechanism whereby these peptides inhibit complement activation.

      A second area of interest for our laboratory is the development of these complement suppressing peptides as a therapeutic for complement-mediated disease. Whilst the human complement system represents a front-line defense against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses, its uncontrolled activation can lead to severe pathology in many different inflammatory and autoimmune disorders with an immune component such as systemic lupus erythematosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, ischemia-reperfusion injury (myocardial infarct, stroke), glomerulonephritis, adult respiratory distress syndrome, transplant rejection, graft versus host disease and burn injuries. Given the very potent inhibition of the astrovirus derived peptides on the complement system, our laboratory in conjunction with Dr. Cunnion’s research group are currently interested in developing these peptides into a therapeutic compound as method for regulating aberrant complement activity.

      In addition to the complement inhibitory activity of these peptides, we have recently discovered that these peptide inhibitors possess potent anti-microbial activity. We are currently defining the mechanism of action by which these peptides exert their effects as they have potential as novel ‘antibiotics’. Please click on the “Lab Page” link to learn more about our research program.

    • Primary Specialty:
    • Hospital:
    • Courses Taught:
    • Biomedical Graduate Students

      Introduction to the Research Literature
      Biomedical Sciences Seminar (Journal Club)
      Concepts in Research Design
      Research Techniques
      Advanced Molecular and Cellular Techniques
      Current Topics in Molecular Biology
      Animal Virology
      Advanced Cell Biology
      Advanced Proteomics
      Biomedical Sciences Program Track: Molecular Integrative Biosciences (MIB)

      Medical Students

      Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Course Director
      Foundations in Immunology, Co-Course Director

    • Current Projects:
    • Bio:



Lab Page