Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology

Archived Department News

Shalmali Bivalkar, Graduate Student in Dr. Ashok Chauhan’s lab, was awarded first place at the W. Morgan Newton Graduate Research Symposium on February 18, 2011.  The title of her presentation was:
“Host nuclear export factor-CRMI and cytoplasmic proteasome system program
degradation of HIV-1 transactivator Tat protein”

Austin Jackson, Graduate Student in Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti’s lab, was awarded Honorable Mention at the W. Morgan Graduate Research Symposium on February 18, 2011.  The title of his presentation was:
“Indoles mitigate the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by activation of AhR and ER: Reciprocal induction of regulatory T Cells and Th17 cells, and induction of apoptosis”

Dr. Jennifer Nyland, Assistant Professor, has been selected as a 2010 Environmental Health Sciences Communication Fellow.  As a Fellow, she will continue to increase public awareness and understanding of environmental health science, and she will be training junior scientists to communicate and promote new research findings to a general audience.  Every month, she will identify important findings about the environment and its links to human health, which have just been published in peer-reviewed journals.  Dr. Nyland will then translate the findings to make them more accessible to working reporters and to a broader public audience. 

Dr. Phil Buckhaults, Assistant Professor, and his laboratory have developed a technology that can predict colon cancer recurrence, and the Carolinian magazine (Winter 2010) has recognized Dr. Buckhaults for this breakthrough in cancer research.

The breakthrough research on the use of Resveratrol in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis by Drs. Narendra Singh, Mitzi Nagarkatti and Prakash Nagarkatti has been cited in an article titled “Two Medical Meetings (ACTRIMS and CMSC) Focus on MS Risk Factors and Quality of Life Issues” on the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada web sites. 

Nahid Akhtar’s research entitled “MICRORNA-27b (miR-27b) REGULATES THE EXPRESSION OF MMP-13 IN HUMAN OSTEOARTHRITIS CHONDROCYTES,” has been selected for oral presentation at the 2009 OARSI World Congress on Osteoarthritis meeting in Vancouver on September 10-13, 2009.  Dr. Akhtar, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Tariq Haqqi’s lab, has also won a Young Investigator Travel Award to attend this meeting.

Sangeeta Kowli, graduate student, has won the 2009 Outstanding Dissertation Award under the mentorship of Drs. Kim E. Creek and Lucia Pirisi-Creek.  The title of her dissertation is “Gene Expression Profiling of TGF-beta Treated HPV16 Immortalized Human Keratinocytes At Early and Late Stages of In Vitro Progression.”

Rupal Pandey, graduate student in Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti’s laboratory, has won The Explorers Club Horace Byrne Award for Outstanding Frontier Science Research by a Graduate Student at the South Carolina Academy of Science Annual Meeting for 2009.

Dr. Jennifer Nyland, Assistant Professor, gave three poster presentations at the 48th annual Society of Toxicology meeting in Baltimore, MD, held from March 15-19, 2009.  Abstracts entitled, “Prenatal exposure to mercury, partitioning of total and ANA immunoglobulins in maternal and cord blood, and assessment of a biomarker of mercury immunotoxicity,” “Modeling individual variation from in vitro data,” and “Low-dose mercury targets macrophage activation in human cells in vitro” were presented.

Dr. Narendra Singh, Research Associate Professor, gave a platform presentation at the 48th Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, held from March 15-19, 2009 in Baltimore, MD.  The title of his talk was “Resveratrol (trans-3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene) protects the fetus from the immunotoxic effects of TCDD following perinatal exposure by blocking  AhR activation”  and was co-authored by Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti and Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti.

Ms. Rupal Pandey, Graduate Student in Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti’s lab, presented a poster in the Immunotoxicology Session at the 48th annual Society of Toxicology meeting in Baltimore, MD, held from March 15-19, 2009.  Her poster was entitled "Targeting cannabinoid receptors as a novel approach to prevent donor T cell-mediated inflammation during graft-versus-host disease."

Ms. Pandey also won the SC Academy of Sciences Horace Byrne Explorers Club Award for Outstanding Frontier Science by a graduate student in recognition of the scientific research presented at the Annual Meeting held on April 15, 2009.

Ms. Sadiye Rieder, Graduate Student in Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti’s lab, presented a poster in the Immunotoxicology Session at the 48th Annual Society of Toxicology meeting in Baltimore, MD, held from March 15-19, 2009.  Her poster was entitled "Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B induced Acute Lung Injury and Acute Respiratory Distress through direct activation of Natural Killer T cells". 

Ms. Rieder has also been awarded an National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship from NCCAM  to pursue research on the effect of resveratrol on acute lung injury induced by staphylococcal enterotoxin, under the mentorship of Drs. Mitzi Nagarkatti and Prakash Nagarkatti.

Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti chaired the Symposium  on “Immunomodulaation during Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Therapy: Risks and Benefits”  and presented an overview at the 48th Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting in Baltimore, MD, held from March 15-19, 2009.

Dr. Ben Guan chaired the scientific session “Immunoregulation and Toxicity” and presented “Resveratrol Inhibits IL-2-Induced Toxicity while maintaining Effective Treatment of Melanoma by differentially Modulating the Suppressive Functions of Myeloid-derived Suppressor Cells” coauthored by Drs. Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti at the 48th Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting in Baltimore, MD, held from March 15-19, 2009.

The National Centers for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) invited the Principal Investigators of all the NCCAM-funded Centers in the nation for a 2-day meeting at Washington, DC from April 2-4, 2009.  Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti chaired a scientific session and organized break-out sessions to evaluate NCCAM-funded center activities. 

Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti has been selected to serve on the National Toxicology Program (NTP) Board of Scientific Counselors that reviews the toxicological and carcinogenic potential of chemicals.

Dr. Juhua Zhou’s research entitled “Immune modulation by chondroitin sulfate and its degraded disaccharide in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis” and coauthored by Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti and Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti has been selected for oral presentation at the 2009 American Association of Immunologists meeting in Seattle, Washington on May 8, 2009.  Dr. Zhou has also won an AAI Junior Faculty Travel Award to attend this meeting.

Ms. Sadiye Rieder, Graduate Student in Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti's lab, received the First Prize at the 24th Annual W. Morgan Newton Graduate Research Symposium on February 27, 2009. Her presentation was titled "Resveratrol in the prevention and treatment of Acute Lung Injury and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome."

Ms. Rupal Pandey, Graduate Student in Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti's lab, received Second Place Honorable Mention at the 24th Annual W. Morgan Newton Graduate Research Symposium on February 27, 2009. Her presentation was titled "Cannabinoids as novel approach to prevent donor T-cell mediated inflammation during graft-versus-host disease."

Dr. Kevin Carnevale, Clinical Assistant Professor, has collaborated with Dr. Marie Siemionow over the past 11 years producing 13 publications addressing the field of composite tissue transplantation looking at different immunological and pathological aspects of acute and chronic rejection. In a 2007 publication entitled, A New Rat Model of Maxilla Allotransplantation, a model of facial transplantation was created to study the immunological responses and also demonstrated growth properties that could have potential clinical applications. This was some of the essential animal work which had lead to approval for Dr Siemionow�s team of surgeons to perform the near total facial transplant in 2008 on a person who had been disfigured in an accident.

Dr. Tariq Haqqi, Professor, was invited to deliver a lecture titled �Dietary Antioxidants: Useful or Useless?� for the 8th Annual Meeting of the Society for Free Radical Research. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together established researchers in the field of Free Radical Research to share their knowledge and develop interest in students. The meeting will take place on March 17-18, 2009 in Aligarh, India.

On December 3, the Department of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology held an all day retreat for faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, technicians and administrative staff at Saluda Shoals Park in Irmo. The major purpose of the retreat was to open a discussion about the various research projects that are ongoing in the department.

Dr. Tariq Haqqi, Professor, was invited to speak at the 7th World Congress on Phytochemicals. His lecture titled "Natural Products for Joint Health: Ancient Knowledge Meets Modern Science" will take place October 20, 2008 in Buena Park, California.

Dr. Ashok Chauhan, Associate Professor, has written an article "The taming of the cell penetrating domain of the HIV Tat: Myths and Realities," which has become the Fast Breaking Paper on Sciencewatch.com for June 2008.

Dr. Tariq Haqqi, Professor, will be moderating a session at the Annual American College of Rheumatology Meeting in San Francisco. The session is titled "Biology and Pathology of Bone and Cartilage" and will take place on October 28, 2008.

Dr. Narendra Singh, Research Assistant Professor, was invited to Chair the Immunotoxicology Session at the 47th Annual Meeting of Society of Toxicology (SOT) held in Seattle from March 16-20, 2008.  An abstract entitled, "c-FLIP plays important role in TCDD (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin)-induced apoptosis in primary T cells and established T cell line in vitro" coauthored by Drs. Singh, Mitzi Nagarkatti and Prakash Nagarkatti was selected for platform presentation at this meeting. 

Dr. Venkatesh Hegde, Postdoctoral Fellow, has received the Postdoctoral Travel Award from the Regulatory and Safety Evaluation Specialty Section at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology.  He presented research entitled, "Attenuation of experimental autoimmune hepatitis by exogenous and endogenous cannabinoids: involvement of regulatory T cells" coauthored by Drs. Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti.

Dr. Udai Singh, Research Assistant Professor, has received the Junior Faculty Travel Award from American Association of Immunologists (AAI) to present an abstract entitled, “CCL5 modulates mucosal immunity against chlamydial infection" at the Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA from April 5-9,  2008.  Dr. Singh has also received the Federation of Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB) Minorities Access to Research Careers (MARC) Travel Award to attend this meeting.

Dr. Juhua Zhou, Research Assistant Professor, is the recipient of the AAI Junior Faculty Travel Grant to present research at the AAI Annual Meeting.  Dr. Zhou presented an abstract entitled “Association between CD44 polymorphism and breast cancer”  with co-authors, Dr. Prakash Nagarkatti, Ms. Yin Zhong and Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti, on April 8, 2008.

Ms. Rupal Pandey, a graduate student, is the recipient of a USC 2007-2008 Travel Award for graduate student participation in professional meetings.  She presented the abstract entitled “Delta-9-tetraydrocannabinol triggers mast cell degranulation through activation of cannabinoid receptors” co-authored by Drs. Venkatesh Hegde, Mitzi Nagarkatti and Prakash Nagarkatti at the 2008 Annual FASEB Meeting.  Ms. Pandey’s abstract has been selected for oral presentation at the 95th AAI Annnual Meeting held in conjunction with Federation of Societies of Experimental Biology 2008 meeting.  Ms. Pandey also presented her research at the SOM Newton Graduate Symposium where she won an honorable mention.

Ms. Sadiye Rieder, Graduate Student, received a Travel Award from the USC Graduate School for presenting the research entitled,  "Role of Natural Killer T (NK T) Cells in Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B-induced Vascular Leak" with coauthors, Drs. Prakash Nagarkatti and Mitzi Nagarkatti at the AAI meeting.  Ms. Rieder serves as a Student Representative on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, USC School of Medicine Library Committee and the Student Alumni Board.