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Neeraj K Surana, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Campus Mail: 3 Genome Ct, Msrbiii Room 4126, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 613-8742

My research innovatively integrates gnotobiotic murine models, immunology, microbiology, and characterization of the microbiota with the ultimate aim of identifying specific commensal bacteria with immunomodulatory potential and subsequent characterization of their biologic effects. We have recently developed an inventive approach for identifying with high specificity organisms within the microbiota that are causally related to the phenotype of interest. Using this approach of microbe–phenotype triangulation, we identified Clostridium immunis, a new bacterial species that protects against colitis in murine models, and two bacterial species that induce host expression of a critical antimicrobial peptide. We are now investigating the molecular mechanisms—from both the bacterial and host perspectives—that underlie these host–commensal relationships. Furthermore, we are extending our discovery platform to human samples and additional disease processes to identify more causal microbes.

Education and Training

  • Fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2009 - 2012
  • Residency, Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 2006 - 2009
  • Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, 2006
  • M.D., Washington University School of Medicine, 2006

Selected Publications

Surana, Neeraj K., and Dennis L. Kasper. “Moving beyond microbiome-wide associations to causal microbe identification.” Nature 552, no. 7684 (December 14, 2017): 244–47.

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Kugadas, Abirami, Stig Hill Christiansen, Saiprasad Sankaranarayanan, Neeraj K. Surana, Stefanie Gauguet, Ryan Kunz, Raina Fichorova, Thomas Vorup-Jensen, and Mihaela Gadjeva. “Impact of Microbiota on Resistance to Ocular Pseudomonas aeruginosa-Induced Keratitis.” Plos Pathog 12, no. 9 (September 2016): e1005855.

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Gauguet, Stefanie, Samantha D’Ortona, Kathryn Ahnger-Pier, Biyan Duan, Neeraj K. Surana, Roger Lu, Colette Cywes-Bentley, et al. “Intestinal Microbiota of Mice Influences Resistance to Staphylococcus aureus Pneumonia.” Infect Immun 83, no. 10 (October 2015): 4003–14.

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Surana, Neeraj K., and Dennis L. Kasper. “Deciphering the tête-à-tête between the microbiota and the immune system.” J Clin Invest 124, no. 10 (October 2014): 4197–4203.

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