Renukaradhya J. Gourapura
Professor, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center
The Ohio State University, Wooster, USA
I graduated from Bangalore Veterinary College, India, with a major in veterinary medicine and clinical veterinary practice. My master’s was in Microbiology and Public Health with a specialization in viral immunology,involved in development of diagnostics to survey viral diseases of cattle. I was interested in immunology in particular understanding the immune correlates of protection in cattle and sheep vaccinated with genetically engineered recombinant vaccines against Morbillivirus, Rinderpest(RP) and Pest Des Petitis Ruminants (PPR) viruses. I completed my doctoral studies in viral immunology at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, under the direction of an eminent virologist, Prof. M.S. Shaila. During my PhD program I was involved in mapping of functionally important B cell epitopes on the hemagglutinin (H) of RP and hemagglutinin-neuraminidase of PPR viruses. In addition, as a scientist under the leadership of Dr. M. Rajasekhar, at Project Directorate of Animal Disease Monitoring and Surveillance (PD-ADMAS), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), India,I was involved in development of a Brucella LPS-based ELISA kit and development of mAb based internationally-validated ELISA kit for detection of circulating RP-specific antibodies.In 2002, as a postdoctoral fellowjoined the laboratory of Dr. Randy R. Brutkiewicz,a leader in NKT cell biology at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Indiana University School of Medicine, worked on viral and tumor immunity mediated through NKT cells.I joined as Assistant Professor in 2008 atFood Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio.
My laboratory research focus is on mucosal immunology related to respiratory infections and zoonotic diseases of food animals. Mucosal delivery of potent vaccines is gaining increased attention to increase the breadth of cross-protective immunity. We are interested to understand mucosal immune responses in pigs and other species of food animals, following viral and bacterial infections and mucosal delivery of vaccines. At present we are making use of bacteria based candidate adjuvants to potentiate the efficacy of modified live virus and biodegradable nanoparticle-entrapped inactivated virus vaccines, administered by intranasal route, to protect against genetically variant porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus and influenza virus infections in pigs. We are also aimed to understand host-pathogen interactions, viral pathogenesis, and immune evasion mechanisms at mucosal sites of food animals. Recently, our laboratory has discovered invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell in pigs, and iNKT cell plays a pivotal role in generation of cross-protective immunity against influenza in mice. We are interested to exploit iNKT cell-mediated adjuvanticity to influenza virus vaccines in a pig model.