Selva Kumar Subbian
Assistant Professor, Public Health Research Institute (PHRI), Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Over the past several years, my research is focused towards understanding the host immunological determinants that are responsible for the progression of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection to active TB disease versus control of infection and establishment of latency. I am also exploring the possibilities of adjunctive immune modulation as an intervention to improve current TB treatment with antibiotics. For these studies, I have been using our well established rabbit models of pulmonary Mtb infection, in which the outcome following infection is dependent on the nature of Mtb strain used for infection. Using cutting edge molecular technologies, such as microarray and bioinformatics approaches, I have identified several gene networks and pathways that are significantly differentially regulated in the rabbit lungs, that can be responsible for the differential outcome following pulmonary infection by Mtb strains HN878 (active TB) and CDC1551 (latency). We are the first to report the molecular determinants of protective (latent TB) versus permissive (active TB) host response to Mtb infection in rabbit lungs as early as 3 hours post infection. In the rabbit model of active TB, we have shown a significant improvement in bacterial clearance and lung pathology when the animals were treated with a combination of anti-TB drugs and small molecule inhibitors of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4i), compared to treatment with antibiotics alone. For more than 15 years, I have been working with pathogenic mycobacterial strains in Biosafety Level-3 facilities and with several small animal models of TB, including mice, guinea pigs and rabbits, for more than 7 years. I have been working extensively with various primary cells and immortal cell-lines of rabbit, murine, fish and human origin.
Areas of Specialization: • Mycobacterial Pathogenesis (cellular, molecular, biochemical and immunological aspects) • Transcriptional Regulation • Host-Pathogen Interactions in bacterial infections/diseases • Host Immune Response • Animal Models of Infectious Diseases • Genome-wide Transcriptional Analysis and Systems Biology • Biomarker Discovery • Translational Research • Drug Target Development