Saguna Verma, PhD

Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology
John A. Burns School of Medicine
651 Ilalo Street, BSB 320
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

Telephone: (808)-692-1662

Devi Ahilya University, Indore, India  B.S. 1985- Zoology, Chemistry,
Devi Ahilya University, Indore, India  M.S. 1988 – Biochemistry
Devi Ahilya University, Indore, India  Ph.D. 1994 –  Life Sciences

Personal Statement
Dr. Verma is a formally trained virologist and immunologist with expertise in the studies of RNA virus/host interactions and innate immunity.  Her  long-term research goal is to understand inflammatory pathways contributing to the neuropathogenesis related to flaviviruses to ultimately develop effective therapies to ameliorate the associated pathology. Her research uses both, in vitro and in vivo mouse models to delineate various innate immune signaling pathways that contribute to inflammation and neuronal death in flavivirus infections. The focus of the ongoing study in her lab is to analyze mechanisms associated with disruption of the blood-brain barrier and its consequence with respect to the entry of West Nile virus (WNV) in the mice brain. In addition, her lab also investigates the efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs such as inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target to manage WNV encephalitis. Another area of her research is to understand the role of pathogen recognition receptor NLRC5 and its adapter molecule ASC in modulating innate and adaptive immune response to WNV. One of her recent projects involves characterizing the role of epigenetic modulation in innate immune responses to flaviviruses.