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)
Adjunct Faculty, Erie County Community College (2017-present)
Graduate Faculty, Medicine, University at Buffalo (2017-present)
Adjunct Faculty, Trocaire College (2016-present)
Member, Neuroscience Program, University at Buffalo School of Health Related Professions (2016-present)
Research Professor, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo (2015-present)
Research Associate Professor, Medicine, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (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)
Alexander JJ. (2001) Factor H is Present on Rodent Platelets and Functions as the Immune Adherence Receptor. JBC (Jan), 276: 32129-32135.
Alexander JJ, Jacob A, Quigg RJ. (2015) Effects of Conventional Immunosuppressive Therapy on Functional and Pathological Features of CNS Lupus in NZB/W Mice. F1000Research (Jun), 4: 163-173.
Alexander JJ. (2000) Complement is Activated in Kidney by Endotoxin but does not Cause the Ensuing Acute Renal Failure. Kidney Int. (Jan), 58: 1580.
Eadon MT, Hack BK, Alexander JJ, Xu C, Dolan ME, Cunningham PN. (2013) Cell Cycle Arrest in a Model of Colistin Nephrotoxicity. Physiol Genomics (Jul), Epub.
Alexander JJ. (1997) Characterization of C3 Receptors on Cultured Rat Glomerular Endothelial Cells. Kidney International (Jan), 51: 1124.
Alexander JJ. (1997) Characterization of C3-binding Proteins on Mouse Neutrophils and Platelets. J Immunol. (Jan), 159: 2438.
Alexander JJ. (2003) Administration of the Soluble Complement Inhibitor, Crry-Ig, Reduces Inflammation and Aquaporin 4 Expression in Lupus Cerebritis. Biochim Biophys Acta. (Jan), 1639: 169-176.
Alexander JJ. (1993) Alterations in Mitochondrial Branched-chain Amino Acid Metabolism in Brain in Acute Hyperammonemic States. Neuroscience Letters (Jan), 149: 221-224.
Alexander JJ. (2002) Genetic Inhibition of the Complement Cascade Accelerates Alzheimer’s Pathology in Transgenic Mice. PNAS (Jan), 99: 10837-10842.
Alexander JJ. (1998) Immune Complex Glomerulonephritis in C4- and C3-Deficient Mice. Kidney Int. (Jan), 53: 32.
Alexander JJ. (2002) A Complement-dependent Model of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura Induced by Antibodies Reactive with Endothelial Cells. Clinical Immunology (Jan), 103: 43-53.
Alexander JJ. (1998) Inhibition of Complement Regulation is Key to the Pathogenesis of Active Heymann Nephritis. J Exp. Med. (Jan), 188: 1353.
Alexander JJ. (2002) Injury in Renal Ischemia-reperfusion is Independent from Immunoglobulins and T Lymphocytes. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol (Jan), 282: F352-F357.
Alexander JJ. (2005) MRL/lpr Mice have Alterations in Brain Metabolism as Shown with [(1)H-(13)C] NMR Spectroscopy. Neurochem Intl (Jan), 47: 143-151.
Alexander JJ. (1997) Production of the Rat Complement Regulator, Crry, as an Active Soluble Protein in Pichia Pastoris. Arch. Biochem. Biophys (Jan), 341: 3.
Alexander JJ. (1995) Molecular Characterization of Rat Crry: Widespread Distribution of Two Alternative Forms of Crry mRNA. Immunogenetics (Jan), 42: 362.
Alexander JJ. (2002) Prominent Renal Expression of a Murine Leukemia Retrovirus in Experimental Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. J Am Soc Nephrol. (Jan), 13: 2869.
Alexander JJ. (2003) Rat Glomerular Epithelial Cells Produce and Bear Factor H on their Surface that is Up-regulated Under Complement Attack. Kidney Int (Jan), 64: 914.
Alexander JJ. (1999) Renal, Central Nervous System and Pancreatic Overexpression of Recombinant Soluble Crry in Transgenic Mice. A Novel Means of Protection from Complement-mediated Injury. Immunopharmacology (Jan), 42: 245-254.
Alexander JJ. (2007) Rodent Factor H Functions as a Counterpart of Human CR1 in Renal Immune Complex Processing. J Am Soc Nephrol (Jan), 18: 1157-1166.
Alexander JJ. (2009) Septic Encephalopathy. Current opinions in Neurology (Jan), 22: 283-287.
Alexander JJ. (2007) New Approaches to the Treatment of Dense Deposit Disease. J Am Soc Nephrol. (Jan), 18: 2447-2456.
Alexander JJ. (2000) Production and Functional Analysis of Rat CD59 and Chimeric CD59-Crry as Active Soluble Proteins in Pichia Pastoris. Immunology (Jan)99-46.
Alexander JJ. (2007) Systemic lupus erythematosus and the brain: What mice are telling us. Neurochem Int. (Jan), 50: 5.
Alexander JJ. (1989) .Hepatic Encephalopathy. In: Acute Action of Ammonia on Leucine Metabolism in Isolated Astrocytes, Neurons and Oligocells of Rat Brain. Humana Press
Alexander JJ and Murthy RK. (1987) In Biochemical Pathology of Astrocytes. In: Acute Effects of Ammonia on the Metabolism of Isolated and Cultured Astrocytes. Alan R. Liss
Alexander JJ. (1989) In: Cellular and Subcellular Branched-chain Keto Acid Decarboxylase in Rat Brain and its Response to Hyperammonemia.
Alexander JJ and Murthy RK. (1987) Biochemical Pathology of Astrocytes. In: Cerebral Cellular Branched-chain Amino Acid Transaminases in Hyperammonemia. Alan R.Liss.
Chang A., P. Kadambi and J. J. Alexander. (2006) Encyclopedic Reference of Molecular Mechanisms of Disease. In: Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis. Springer Verlag
Alexander JJ and Hawkins R. (1994) In Hepatic Encephalopathy, Hyperammonemia and Ammonia toxicity. In: Neomycin Reduces the Metabolic Ability of the Small Intestine to Produce Ammonia from Glutamine. Plenum Press
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)
BDCN-E (04): Neurobiology of Brain Degenerative Disorders, Autoimmune Disea;; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2019)
American Association of University Women; 2019-20 Research Publication Grant;; Grant Reviewer (2019–present)
Faculty Senate; Chair (2019)
NIH; Hypersensitivity, Autoimmunity & Immunity Study Section III;; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2019–present)
NIH; Innate Immunity Study Section III;; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2019–present)
American Association of University Women, Research Publication Grant in Eng;; Panel Member (2019–present)