Karuppiah Muthumani

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Research Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Department: Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Contact information
Dept of Pathology and Lab. Medicine
505 Stellar-Chance Labs
422 Curie Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-746-8217
Fax: 215-573-9436
B.S. (Biology)
Madurai-Kamaraj University, India, 1985.
M.S. (Biology)
Madurai-Kamaraj University, India, 1989.
Ph.D. (Biology)
Madurai-Kamaraj University, India, 1996.
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Description of Research Expertise

Project I: Directing immune responses against emerging infectious disease agents.

We specialize in the development of novel DNA vaccines and therapeutics that target emerging infectious diseases. Using enhanced DNA technology, we have designed and are currently investigating the ability of DNA plasmid vaccines to drive immune responses with previously developed immunogens for HIV, Dengue, Chikungunya virus and Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus.

Project II. Creating soluble antibody-like molecules as synthetic DNA to treat viral pathogens and tumor and to explore immunobiology.

Our lab is exploring the use of second-generation DNA plasmids as a vehicle for direct in vivo delivery of monoclonal antibodies (mAb). This concept could provide an alternative to passive monoclonal antibody therapy for cancer treatment and pathogen infection. Using highly optimized DNA construct designs and delivery methods, we are evaluating and optimizing multiple antibody-encoding DNA plasmids as novel prophylactic or therapeutic treatments for cancers, including breast and prostate cancer, and pathogenic infections (i.e. HIV-1, Dengue virus, Chikungunya virus, and other pathogens of interest). These DNA plasmids have the potential to generate therapeutic levels of mAb in vivo through more cost-effective and simplified treatment regimens.

Project III: Immunopathogenesis of viral disease and molecular studies of host-pathogen interactions for drug and immunotherapeutic development.

The molecular functions of viral proteins are arguably the most important pathogenic factors during viral infection. Using modern tools of virology and immunology, we explore the molecular basis of cellular protein functions, the interaction between viral factors and host cell signaling proteins, and general T cell and APC functions. By studying viral proteins and their interacting cellular partners, our research is aimed at understanding the mechanisms of these interactions and developing new compounds that block them.

Selected Publications

J Yan, C Tingey, R Lyde, T C Gorham, D K Choo, A Muthumani, D Myles, L P Weiner, K A Kraynyak, E L Reuschel, T H Finkel, J J Kim, N Y Sardesai, K E Ugen, K Muthumani and D B Weiner: Novel and enhanced anti-melanoma DNA vaccine targeting the tyrosinase protein inhibits myeloid-derived suppressor cells and tumor growth in a syngeneic prophylactic and therapeutic murine model. Cancer Gene Therapy(doi: 10.1038/cgt.2014.56), November 2014.

Shedlock DJ, Tingey C, Mahadevan L, Hutnick N, Reuschel, EL, Kudchodkar S, Flingai S, Yan Y, Kim JJ, Ugen KE, Weiner DB Muthumani K: Co-Administration of Molecular Adjuvants Expressing NF-Kappa B Subunit p65/RelA or Type-1 Transactivator T-bet Enhance Antigen Specific DNA Vaccine-Induced Immunity. Vaccines 2: 196-215, March 2014.

Fagone P, Muthumani K, Mangano K, Magro G, Meroni PL, Kim JJ, Sardesai NY, Weiner DB, Nicoletti F.: VGX-1027 modulates genes involved in the LPS-induced TLR-4 activation and in a murine model of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Immunology Feb 2014 Notes: DOI: 10.1111/imm.12267.

Muthumani K, Wise MC, Broderick KE, Hutnick N, Goodman J, Flingai S, Yan J, Bian CB, Mendoza J, Tingey C, Wilson C, Wojtak K, Sardesai NY, Weiner DB.: HIV-1 Env DNA vaccine plus protein boost delivered by EP expands B- and T-cell responses and neutralizing phenotype in vivo. PLoS One 8(12): e84234, December 2013.

Flingai S, Czerwonko M, Goodman J, Kudchodkar SB, Muthumani K, Weiner DB: Synthetic DNA Vaccines: Improved Vaccine Potency by Electroporation and Co-Delivered Genetic Adjuvants. Front Immunology 4: 354, November 2013.

Muthumani K, Flingai S, Wise M, Tingey C, Ugen KE, Weiner DB: Optimized and enhanced DNA plasmid vector based in vivo construction of a neutralizing anti-HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein Fab. Hum Vaccin Immunother 9(10), September 2013.

Ouma GO, Rodriguez E, Muthumani K, Weiner DB, Wilensky RL, Mohler ER 3rd. : In vivo electroporation of constitutively expressed HIF-1α plasmid DNA improves neovascularization in a mouse model of limb ischemia. J Vasc Surg 13(00865-3), July 2013.

Chaaithanya IK, Muruganandam N, Anwesh M, Rajesh R, Ghosal SR, Kartick C, Prasad KN, Muthumani K, Vijayachari P: HLA class II allele polymorphism in an outbreak of Chikungunya fever in Middle Andaman, India. Immunology May 2013 Notes: 10.1111/imm.12128.

Bao H, Ramanathan AA, Kawalakar O, Sundaram SG, Tingey C, Bian CB, Muruganandam N, Vijayachari P, Sardesai NY, Weiner DB, Ugen KE, Muthumani K.: Nonstructural Protein 2 (nsP2) of Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) Enhances Protective Immunity Mediated by a CHIKV Envelope Protein Expressing DNA Vaccine. Viral Immunology 26(1): 75-83, Feb 2013.

Shedlock DJ, Talbott KT, Wu SJ, Wilson CM, Muthumani K, Boyer JD, Sardesai NY, Awasthi S, Weiner DB.: Vaccination with synthetic constructs expressing cytomegalovirus immunogens is highly T cell immunogenic in mice. Hum Vaccin Immunother 1(8(11)), Nov 2012.

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Last updated: 12/12/2014
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