Autoimmune disorders are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Complex interactions between multiple genetic and environmental factors are essential for the development of autoimmunity. Our laboratory is interested in understanding how autoimmune responses are initiated, amplified and how do they cause tissue injury and pathology.
Sjögren’s syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disorder responsible for causing severe dry mouth, dry eyes and fatigue. A characteristic feature of this disorder is the presence of autoantibodies recognizing multiple self-proteins. We are investigating how a certain group of autoantibodies cause salivary gland dysfunction and dry mouth.
Recently, there has been a tremendous interest in deciphering the role of microbiota in human health and disease. Our laboratory is investigating how oral infections influence autoimmunity. We are studying the role of bacteria responsible for causing gum disease in the development and severity of lupus.
Presence of circulating autoantibodies reactive with multiple cellular proteins is a characteristic feature of autoimmune disorders such as systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren’s syndrome. However, most of the proteins targeted in these disorders are located inside the cells and are shielded from circulating autoantibodies. My laboratory is investigating a basic question: How do autoantibodies recognizing intracellular proteins exert pathogenic effects in autoimmune disorders?
The other major area of research in my laboratory is to understand the mechanisms responsible for the initiation and amplification of autoimmune responses. We are interested in investigating the role of host-microbe interaction in pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders. Our research addresses a critical issue, is bad oral health at a younger age a predisposing factor for autoimmunity
For details please follow the lab website link: http://deshmukh.omrf.org/
B.S., University of Poona, Pune, India 1986
M.S., University of Poona, Pune, India 1988
Ph.D., Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India 1995
Honors and Awards
1989 Junior Research Fellowship, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India
1991 Senior Research Fellowship, National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi, India
1993 Young Scientist Award, Indian Immunology Society
1993 Diploma Certificate in Advanced Immunology, WACIID, Chiba, Japan
1993 Best Poster Award, XIXth Annual Conference, Indian Immunology Society
1994 Trainee Investigator Grant, Biomedicine 97, AAP, ASCI and AFMR
1998 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Arthritis Foundation
2003 Carter Immunology Center Research Grant
2004 Federation of Clinical Immunology Society Travel Award
2005 Federation of Clinical Immunology Society Travel Award
2007 Young Investigator Award, International Congress in SLE, China
2009 Best Abstract Award, American College of Rheumatology, 73rd Annual Meeting, Presented by Sjögren’s Syndrome Foundation
2009 Excellence in Research Award, Dept of Medicine, University of Virginia
2010 1R01AI079621 grant abstract selected by NIAID as an example of outstanding titles and abstracts from new NIAID investigators
2001 Scientist Development Grant, American Heart Association
2011 Federation of Clinical Immunology Society Travel Award
2011 Virginia Equipment Trust Fund Award
2012 American Association of Immunologists Travel Award, AAI Annual Meeting in Boston, MA
2014 Plenary Session Talk, American College of Rheumatologists Annual Meeting in Boston, MA
2017 J. Donald and Patricia Capra Award for Scientific Achievement, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK
American Association of Immunologists
Joined OMRF Scientific Staff in 2013
Bagavant H, Dunkleberger ML, Wolska N, Sroka M, Rasmussen A, Adrianto I, Montgomery C, Sivils K, Guthridge JM, James JA, Merrill JT, Deshmukh US. Antibodies to periodontogenic bacteria are associated with higher disease activity in lupus patients. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2018 Jun 25. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29998833
Papinska J, Bagavant H, Gmyrek GB, Sroka M, Tummala S, Fitzgerald KA, Deshmukh US. Activation of Stimulator of Interferon Genes (STING) and Sjögren Syndrome. J Dent Res. 2018 Mar 1:22034518760855. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 29505322
Sroka M, Bagavant H, Biswas I, Ballard A, Deshmukh US. Immune response against the coiled coil domain of Sjögren's syndrome associated autoantigen Ro52 induces salivary gland dysfunction. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2018 Jan 31. PMID: 29465352
Bagavant H, Nandula SR, Kaplonek P, Rybakowska PD, Deshmukh US. Alum, an aluminum-based adjuvant, induces Sjogren's syndrome-like disorder in mice. Clin Exp Rheumatol 32:251-255, 2014 [Abstract]
Deshmukh US, Bagavant H. When killers become helpers. Sci Transl Med 5: 195fs129, 2013. [Abstract]
Szczerba BM, Rybakowska PD, Dey P, Payerhin KM, Peck AB, Bagavant H, Deshmukh US. Type I interferon receptor deficiency prevents murine Sjogren's syndrome. J Dent Res 92: 444-449, 2013. [Abstract]
Nandula SR, Dey P, Corbin KL, Nunemaker CS, Bagavant H, Deshmukh US. Salivary gland hypofunction induced by activation of innate immunity is dependent on type I interferon signaling. J Oral Pathol Med 42: 66-72, 2013. [Abstract]
Scindia YM, Deshmukh US, Bagavant H. Mesangial pathology in glomerular disease: targets for therapeutic intervention. Adv Drug Deliv Rev 62: 1337-1343, 2010. [Abstract]
Nandula SR, Scindia YM, Dey P, Bagavant H, Deshmukh US. Activation of innate immunity accelerates sialoadenitis in a mouse model for Sjogren's syndrome-like disease. Oral Dis 17: 801-807, 2011. [Abstract]
Harini Bagavant, M.B.B.S., Ph.D.
Research Associate Member
Grzegorz Gmyrek, Ph.D.
Assistant Staff Scientist
Research Trainee (Polish Student Exchange Program)
Research Trainee (Polish Student Exchange Program)
Administrative Assistant III