Chinnaswamy Jagannath, PhD
- Professor , Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
(713) 500 - 5353
Areas of Interests
My laboratory investigates the immunological mechanisms of vaccines and adjuvants, focusing on tuberculosis, which is the leading cause of death due to infections in mankind.
My laboratory focuses on mechanisms of vaccine mediated cellular immunity against intracellular infections and development of novel adjuvants for enhancing vaccines.
Vaccines have the greatest impact on human health next to drinking water. Countless lives are saved each year either by neonatal or adult vaccination. However, for many infectious diseases either subunit vaccines or live attenuated vaccines are not available due to technical challenges of developing safer and effective vaccines. Our research has made significant advances in addressing these challenges.
Tuberculosis kills more people than any infectious agent and although BCG vaccine is routinely used, the disease is yet to be controlled in most parts of the world. My laboratory discovered a novel method of inducing autophagy with rapamycin to boost the efficacy of BCG vaccine (Nature Medicine, 2009, profiled on NIAID website). Rapamycin, an emerging host-directed therapeutic (HDT) agent is now being evaluated to boost vaccine response among the immune-senescent elderly people and to enhance drug action among tuberculosis patients. My laboratory described the molecular basis for antigen processing for intracellular vaccines such BCG and we are investigating mechanisms to develop BCG as a live attenuated polyvalent vaccine. Central to the development of vaccine induced T-helper immunity, we are analyzing the role of autophagy during vaccine processing by macrophages and dendritic cells, modulation of T cell memory and TLR-NLR signaling. We have recently described the novel finding that autophagy induced in human mesenchymal stem cells can potentially lead to stem cell therapy for tuberculosis. My research is therefore focused on improving existing vaccines, their mechanisms of action and deputizing newer adjuvants to boost their efficacy.
Jagannath Laboratory- STUDENT AWARDS
- 2011 Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease Retreat 3rd prize poster-Pearl Bakhru
- 2010-2011 Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease Institutional Training Grant stipend-Pearl Bakhru
- 2009 Robert W. and Pearl Wallis Knox Charitable Foundation Scholarship-Chris Singh
- 2007 Molecular Basis of Infectious Disease Institutional Training Grant stipend-Chris Singh
- 2006 The Changing Landscape of Vaccine Development Symposium Poster Award-C. Singh
- 2006 Annual Graduate Student Award in Science and Engineering for the Rice/TMC Chapter of Sigma Xi‐Best thesis
- 2006 Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas Poster Award for Vaccine Category
- 2006 Bugs, Drugs and Vaccines: Securing Our Future Symposium Tanox, Inc. Travel Award and Platform Presentation
- 2006 AAI FASEB‐MARC Travel Award
- 2005 L.D. Mehta Achievement Award
- 2005 McGovern Award Pre‐Candidacy
- 2005 McLaughlin Travel Award, Galveston National Meeting on Bioterrorism
- 2006 Minority mentee-Faculty Mentor award-sponsored by the AAI-FASEB-NIH
- 2009-Mario Toppo Outstanding scientist award