Jessy J. Alexander PhD

Jessy Alexander

Jessy J. Alexander

Research Professor

Department of Medicine

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Specialty/Research Focus

Autoimmunity; Immunology; Neurobiology

Contact Information
875 Ellicott Street
CTRC, 8030D
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: 716-888-4852

Professional Summary:

My research is aimed at understanding the roles of the innate and adaptive immune systems in health and disease. The organs of my interest are the two specialized filtration units, glomeruli and blood-brain barrier, of the kidney and brain respectively. Recently, our understanding of the immune system has undergone a substantial paradigm shift: researchers now recognize that the innate immune system, the body’s first line of defense, assesses the level of danger of a particular event and initiates an adaptive immune response that subsequently confers protection. My studies focus on the role of an important arm of the innate immune system, the complement cascade in inflammatory conditions such as glomerulonephritis and lupus. For both disease conditions, the perfect therapy remains an enigma. Using a gamut of techniques, we are attempting to define the molecular mechanisms involved and the resulting behavioral aberrations. Once molecular targets are identified, therapeutic strategies will be defined.

I teach in UB’s Discovery Seminar Program, which is geared for first- and second-year undergraduates. The seminars are taught in a small-class environment to students who share common goals and similar interests, in ways that enhance their academic, civic and personal growth. I teach “The Yin-Yang of Biology” and “Brain: Day and Night,” and I teach as well in UB’s Honors College. I also mentor students through the CLIMB-PRO program. One of my recent students conducted research that resulted in a publication in the journal Kidney International.

Education and Training:

  • PhD, Biochemistry, University of Hyderabad (1990)
  • MS, Science with Zoology, Osmania University (1982)


  • Graduate Faculty, Medicine, University at Buffalo (2017-present)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Erie County Community College (2017-present)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Trocaire College (2016-present)
  • Member, Neuroscience Program, University at Buffalo (2016-present)
  • Research Professor, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo (2015-present)
  • Research Associate Professor, Medicine, University at Buffalo (2013–2014)
  • Adjunct Faculty, East-West University (2013)
  • Research Associate Professor, Medicine, The University of Chicago (2008–2013)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Molecular Nutrition, University of Chicago (2011)
  • Adjunct Faculty, Depaul University (2010–2011)
  • Research Assistant Professor, Medicine, The University of Chicago (2000–2008)
  • Research Associate, Medicine, The University of Chicago (1998–2000)
  • Fellow, Nephrology, The University of Chicago (1995–1998)
  • Research Associate, Pediatrics, The University of Chicago (1991–1994)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Dept. of Physiology & Biophysiology, The University of Chicago (1988–1991)
See all (5 more)

Awards and Honors:

  • Fulbright Scholar (2019)
  • Manuscript published in Cellular and Molecular Immunology (2018)
  • SUNY award ‘Conversations in the Disciplines’ (2017)
  • Article chosen for cover page (2015)
  • Article chosen for cover page (2014)
  • Lupus Research Update (2006)
  • MPGN Type II Focus Group: Towards a Cure, UK (2006)
  • Paper in Inaugural Issue of Fast Track Manuscripts, JASN (2004)
  • Abstract chosen by the American Society of Nephrology (2004)
  • Certificate for Original Research, Neuroscience Program Committee, Chicago Medical School (1992)
  • ICMR travel award (1990)
  • American Society of Neurochemistry Travel Award (1989)
  • Chosen as “highlights from literature”: Hyperammonemia causes many changes found after portacaval shunting, Biochem. J., 272:311-317, by Cerebrovascular and Brain Metabolism Reviews (1989)
  • SS Parmer Foundation Award (1986)
  • Senior Research Fellowship, CSIR, India (1984)
  • Junior Research Fellowship, CSIR, India (1982)
  • National Merit Scholarship (1975)

Research Expertise:

  • Experimental renal inflammation
  • Neuropsychiatric lupus
  • Pathobiology of the complement system

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • July 2018–July 2021
    NIH R01
    National Institute of Health
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • January 2018–December 2018
    American Hearing Research Foundation
    American Hearing Research Foundation
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • January 2018–April 2018
    course infusion award
    University at Buffalo
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • October 2002–December 2011
    Kidneed Foundation
    Kidneed Foundation
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • January 1999–January 2001
    Arthritis Foundation
    Arthritis Foundation
    Role: Principal Investigator
  • March 1992–March 1994
    Omega oxidation and Reyes syndrome.
    Role: Principal Investigator

Journal Articles:

See all (50 more)

Books and Book Chapters:

  • Chang A., P. Kadambi and J. J. Alexander. Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis.. 2006.
  • Alexander JJ and Hawkins R. Neomycin Reduces the Metabolic Ability of the Small Intestine to Produce Ammonia from Glutamine.. 1994.
  • Alexander JJ. Acute Action of Ammonia on Leucine Metabolism in Isolated Astrocytes, Neurons and Oligocells of Rat Brain.. 1989.
  • Alexander JJ. Cellular and Subcellular Branched-chain Keto Acid Decarboxylase in Rat Brain and its Response to Hyperammonemia.. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences. 1989.
  • Alexander JJ and Murthy RK. Cerebral Cellular Branched-chain Amino Acid Transaminases in Hyperammonemia.. 1987.
  • Alexander JJ and Murthy RK. Acute Effects of Ammonia on the Metabolism of Isolated and Cultured Astrocytes.. 1987.

Professional Memberships:

  • International Society of Neurochemistry (2014–present)
  • American Association of Immunologists (2010–present)
  • American Society of Clinical Investigation (2009–present)
  • Complement Society (2005–present)


  • "C5a/C5aR1 signaling alters blood-brain barrier integrity and brain function in systemic lupus erythematosus" European complement-based Drug development summit (2018)
  • "Specific Targeting of Complement Pathways for Clinical Benefit" American Association of Immunology, American Association of Immunology, Complement (2016)
  • "Unexpected Roles for Immune Signaling in the Healthy and Diseased Brain" American Society of Neurochemistry (2013)
  • "Complement in Hepatic Encephalopathy" I.S.H.E.N. 14th symposium on Hepatic Encephalopathy & Nitrogen metabolism. (2010)
  • "Distinct and separable role of FH in chimaeric mice" Dense Deposit Disease, Kidneeds/Wellcome Group (2008)
  • "The Complement Cascade: Yin-Yang in Neuroinflammation: Neuro-protection and degeneration" American Society of Neurochemistry (2008)
  • "Complement: Good and Bad" American Society of Neurochemistry (2004)
  • "Complement in the brain: New and exciting insights in an old arena of Immunology" American Society of Neurochemistry (2003)

Service Activities:

  • Faculty senate Bylaws committee; Member (2018–2020)
  • Faculty senate elections committee; Chair (2018–2020)
  • Ad hoc panel for promotions in Research track; Univ. at Buffalo; Chair (2017–2019)
  • Faculty senate executive committee; Secretary (2017–2018)
  • Ad hoc panel for promotions in Research track; Univ. at Buffalo; Member (2016–2017)
  • Faculty senate executive committee; Member (2016–2017)
  • CLIMB UP; Mentor; Student Mentor (2015–2016)
  • CLIMB-PRO; Mentoring of undergraduates during summer; Student Mentor (2014)
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, University of Chicago; Member (2009–2013)

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Contact Information

875 Ellicott Street
CTRC, 8030D
Buffalo, NY 14203
Phone: 716-888-4852