Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology

Research Overview

The main research focus areas of the faculty in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology are as follows.


Cell and Molecular Biology of Cancer

  • Development of biomarkers related to human papilloma virus-induced transformation of keratinocytes into cervical cancers (Creek; Pirisi-Creek)
  • Loss of heterozygosity in gene expression profiles in breast and colon cancers (Buckhaults)
  • Role of the transcription factor, KLF4 in the regulation of cell proliferation as it relates to stem cell and colon cancer development (Ai)
  • Nucleotide modifications and other factors involved in metabolism of transfer RNAs and small nuclear RNAs in the formation of pseudouridine, an isomer of uridine (Patton)

Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy

  • Effect of chemoimmunotherapy in tumor cell apoptosis and differentiation in glioblastomas and neuroblastomas (Ray)
  • Use of Bryostatin as TLR agonist in maturation of dendritic cells for cancer therapy (Nagarkatti, P.; Nagarkatti, M.; Singh, N.)
  • Role of CD44 in the amelioration of Interleukin-2-induced vascular toxicity in the treatment of melanoma (Nagarkatti, M.; Nagarkatti, P.; Guan; Zhou)
  • Cannabinoid receptor agonists in the treatment of hematologic cancers (Nagarkatti, M.; Nagarkatti, P.)
  • Effect of pomegranate fruit juice in the treatment of arthritis (Haqqi)
  • Resveratrol as an anti-inflammatory agent in multiple sclerosis (Nagarkatti, P.; Singh, N)
  • Use of non-psychoactive cannabinoids in the treatment of autoimmune hepatitis (Nagarkatti, M.; Nagarkatti, P.)
  • Role of retinoic acid in diabetic embyopathy and alcohol-induced neurotoxicity (Singh, Ugra)
  • Effect of resveratrol in inflammatory bowel disease and cystitis (Singh, Udai)
  • Role of phospholipase during restenosis (Carnevale)
  • Use of estrogen receptor agonists, calpain inhibitors and melatonin in spinal cord injury (Ray)
  • Neuropathogenesis of HIV, development of therapeutic inhibitors of viral replication, gene transfer and siRNA delivery across blood-brain barrier using cell penetrating peptides (Chauhan)
  • Role of mercury in development of coxsackie virus-induced autoimmune myocarditis (Nyland)
  • Development of vaccine and diagnositics against Bacillus anthracis (Fox, A.; Fox, K.)
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxin-induced organ toxicity (Nagarkatti, M; Nagarkatti, P.)
  • Dioxin-mediated T cell dysfunction (Nagarkatti, P; Nagarkatti, M.; Singh, N.)
  • Retinal Pigment cells in Age-related Macular Degeneration and Proliferative Vitreoretinopathy (Hunt, M.; Hunt, R.)

For more information, please contact the Department at (803) 216-3400 or e-mail