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)
Research Professor, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo (2014-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)
Alexander JJ. Production and functional analysis of rat CD59 and chimeric CD59-Crry as active soluble proteins in Pichia pastoris.. Immunology. 2000.
Alexander JJ. Complement is activated in kidney by endotoxin but does not cause the ensuing acute renal failure.. Kidney Int.. 2000; 58.
Alexander JJ. Renal, central nervous system and pancreatic overexpression of recombinant soluble Crry in transgenic mice. A novel means of protection from complement-mediated injury. Immunopharmacology. 1999; 42.