Arifuzzaman, Mohammad, Yuvon R. Mobley, Hae Woong Choi, Pradeep Bist, Cristina A. Salinas, Zachary D. Brown, Swaine L. Chen, Herman F. Staats, and Soman N. Abraham. “MRGPR-mediated activation of local mast cells clears cutaneous bacterial infection and protects against reinfection.” Sci Adv 5, no. 1 (January 2019): eaav0216. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aav0216.
Soman Ninan Abraham, PhD
The Abraham laboratory is interested in developing innovative approaches for curbing microbial infections through the study of the molecular interactions occurring between pathogenic bacteria and prominent immune and epithelial cells. We believe that there is a significant amount of crosstalk occurring between bacteria and host cells during infection and that the outcome of this interaction dictates both how quickly the infection is cleared and the severity of the pathology associated with the infection. We also believe that through deciphering this crosstalk we should be able to selectively promote certain beneficial interactions while abrogating the harmful ones.
There are two major research areas being pursued in this laboratory. The first involves elucidating the role of mast cells in modulating immune responses to microbes. Our studies have revealed that mast cells play a key sentinel role and upon bacterial or viral infection, modulate both innate and adaptive immune responses through the release of immunomodulatory molecules borne in granules. Our current investigations are centered on elucidating the molecular and cellular aspects of how mast cells mediate their immunomodulatory role. We are also examining several mast cell-targeted strategies to boost immunity to infections as well as reduce any pathological consequences of infection.
The second area of research investigates cross-talk between distinct infectious agents such as Uropathogenic E. coli, Salmonella typhimurium and Yersinia pestis and the immune system. We have recognized that different pathogens possess distinct mechanisms to evade or coopt one or more immune cells to establish infection. We have also unraveled novel intracellular innate host defense activities including expulsion of whole bacteria from infected epithelial cells, a feat mediated by immune recognition molecules and the cellular trafficking system.
Cumulatively, our studies should facilitate the design of innovative strategies to combat pathogens that selectively potentiate the host’s immune response without evoking some of its harmful side effects.
Education and Training
- Clinical Director, Serology, Washington University in St. Louis, 1993 - 1997
- Assistant Professor, Molecular Microbiology, Washington University in St. Louis, 1990 - 1997
- Associate Clinical Director, Microbiology/Serology, Washington University in St. Louis, 1990 - 1993
- Assistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology And Immunology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1990 - 1990
- Assistant Professor, Medicine, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1986 - 1990
- Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 1982 - 1986
- Ph.D., Newcastle University (United Kingdom), 1981
- M.S., Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria), 1978
- B.S., Ahmadu Bello University (Nigeria), 1976
Selected Grants and Awards
- Basic Immunology Training Program
- Loss of Bladder Control Following Recurrent Infections
- Duke KURe Program
- Duke CTSA (TL1)
- Aberrant remodeling of bladder following infection
- Mast cell activation as a determinant of neurologic injury after cardiac arrest
- Vaccine Adjuvant Discovery Program
- Developing a SARS-CoV-2 subunit vaccine for nasal immunization
- Urinary Lactobacilli and microbial interference in the aging urinary microbiome
- Interdisciplinary Training Program in Lung Disease
- Immunotherapy to combat skin infections
- Combatting Bladder Cancer by Inducing Epithelial Turnover
- Adjuvant Discovery Program (Option #3)
- Novel Adjuvants and Carriers for Opiod Vaccines
- Transmission electron microscope (TEM)
- Organization and Function of Cellular Structure
- Adjuvant Discovery Program (Option #2)
- IL-27 in skin host defense and regeneration
- Platelets as regulators of inflammation and tissue injury after cardiac surgery
- Immune mediated exocytosis of intravesicular UPEC from bladder cells
- Understanding the Mechanism of Mucosal Immunotherapy
- Overcoming Immunosenescence by Nanoparticle-Mediated Activation
- Adjuvant Discovery Program (Option #1)
- Platelet/Mast cell Interactions as Determinants of End-Organ Injury in Cardiac Surgery
- Enhancing dendritic cell migration to drive potent anti-tumor immune responses
- Mucosal vaccination to protect against HIV-1 infection at mucosal sites
- Mast Cells in Dengue Pathology and Prevention
- Adjuvant Discovery Program
- Institutional Training Grant in Pediatric Infectious Disease
- The role of SP-A in Mp-induced exacerbations during allergic airway disease
- Mechanism of Bacterial Expulsion from Infected Bladder Cells.
- Overcoming Immunosenescence by Nanoparticle-Mediated Activation
- The role of SP-A in Mp-induced exacerbations during allergic airway disease.
- Development of Efficacious and Stable Nasal Vaccine Formulations
- Targeting EGFRvIII in Brain Tumors with Bispecific Antibodies
- Nasal adjuvant to enhance anti-cocaine vaccines
- Enterotoxin targeting and delivery mechanisms
- Modulation of Bladder cAMP to combat UTI's
- Caveolae Mediated Bacterial Uptake in the Urinary Tract
- Role Of Surfactant In Innate and Adaptive Immunity
- Development of Efficacious Vaccine Against UTI's
- Small cationic antimicrobial peptides: activators of innate & adaptive immunity
- Ligand Receptor Interactions in UTIs
- Mast Cells and IBD Pathogenesis
- Pseudomonas Invasion and the Role of Caveolin-2
- Duke PREP: Minority Recruitment into Biomedical Sciences
- Mast Cell Activator as Adjuvant for Biodefense Vaccines
- Proteome Mining in Caveolae of the Bladder Epithelium
- Detection of in vivo ETEC vesicle production
- Mast Cells in Pulmonary Inflammation
Choi, Hae Woong, Jutamas Suwanpradid, Il Hwan Kim, Herman F. Staats, Muzlifah Haniffa, Amanda S. MacLeod, and Soman N. Abraham. “Perivascular dendritic cells elicit anaphylaxis by relaying allergens to mast cells via microvesicles.” Science 362, no. 6415 (November 9, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aao0666.
Jin, Cong, Christopher P. Shelburne, Guojie Li, Erin N. Potts, Kristina J. Riebe, Gregory D. Sempowski, W Michael Foster, and Soman N. Abraham. “Particulate allergens potentiate allergic asthma in mice through sustained IgE-mediated mast cell activation.” J Clin Invest 128, no. 10 (October 1, 2018): 4742–43. https://doi.org/10.1172/JCI123039.
Arifuzzaman, Mohammad, WX Gladys Ang, Hae Woong Choi, Matthew L. Nilles, Ashley L. St John, and Soman N. Abraham. “Necroptosis of infiltrated macrophages drives Yersinia pestis dispersal within buboes.” Jci Insight 3, no. 18 (September 20, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.122188.
Miao, Yuxuan, Pradeep Bist, Jianxuan Wu, Qing Zhao, Qi-Jing Li, Ying Wan, and Soman N. Abraham. “Collaboration between Distinct Rab Small GTPase Trafficking Circuits Mediates Bacterial Clearance from the Bladder Epithelium.” Cell Host Microbe 22, no. 3 (September 13, 2017): 330-342.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2017.08.002.
Choi, Hae Woong, Samantha E. Bowen, Yuxuan Miao, Cheryl Y. Chan, Edward A. Miao, Magnus Abrink, Adam J. Moeser, and Soman N. Abraham. “Loss of Bladder Epithelium Induced by Cytolytic Mast Cell Granules.” Immunity 45, no. 6 (December 20, 2016): 1258–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2016.11.003.
Abraham, S. N., and W. J. Miao Y. “Ubiquitination of TRAF3 Orchestrates Expulsion of Intracellular Bacteria by Exocyst Complex.” Immunity, 2016.
St John, Ashley L., WX Gladys Ang, Min-Nung Huang, Christian A. Kunder, Elizabeth W. Chan, Michael D. Gunn, and Soman N. Abraham. “S1P-Dependent trafficking of intracellular yersinia pestis through lymph nodes establishes Buboes and systemic infection.” Immunity 41, no. 3 (September 18, 2014): 440–50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2014.07.013.