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. (2000) Complement is Activated in Kidney by Endotoxin but does not Cause the Ensuing Acute Renal Failure. Kidney Int. (Jan), 58: 1580.
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. (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.
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
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. (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.
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
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)