Dr. Ramakrishna Vankayalapati (Krishna) is currently serving as Professor and Chair Department of Pulmonary Immunology. For the past 22 years his career has been devoted to the study of human immunology and host interactions with Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Education

Ph.D - Osmania University, India, 1994

DBT Fellow - Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology, India
1995 to 1996

Post-Doctoral Fellow - University of Toronto, Canada,
October 1996 to March 1999

Post-Doctoral Fellow - University of Texas Health Center at Tyler, USA
April 1999 to March 2001

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

2001 – 2003 Instructor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Center for Pulmonary and Infectious Disease Control (CPIDC), University of Texas Health Center at Tyler (UTHCT), Tyler, TX.

2004 – 2007 Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, CPIDC, UTHCT), Tyler, TX.

2007 – 2013 Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, CPIDC, UTHCT, Tyler, TX.

2013 – 2014 Professor & Interim chair, Department of Pulmonary Immunology,UTHCT, Tyler, TX.

2014 – Present Professor & Chair, Department of Pulmonary Immunology, Margaret E. Byers Cain Chair for Tuberculosis Research, UTHCT, Tyler, TX.

Courses Taught

BIOT 6334 - Advanced Immunology

BIOT 5132 - Critical Reading II

Research Interest

1. Identify immunologic markers of persons at highest risk of progression of latent tuberculosis infection to tuberculosis. The goal of the study is to identify immunologic markers of persons at highest risk of progression of latent tuberculosis infection to tuberculosis. We are following household contacts of TB patients at regular intervals to perform immune studies.

2. Innate immune response of LTBI+HIV+ children. The goal of this proposal to understand memory-like NK cell responses of HIV+ and HIV- children with LTBI.

3. Tuberculosis and type 2 diabetes. The goal of the study is to understand various pro- and anti- inflammatory mechanisms that regulate the mortality of a diabetic host infected with Mtb using our established mouse model.

Publication Highlights

1. Jung BG, Samten B, Dean K, Wallace RJ Jr, Brown-Elliott BA, Tucker T, Idell S, Philley JV, Vankayalapati R. Early IL-17A production helps establish Mycobacterium intracellulare infection in mice. PLoS Pathog. 2022 Apr;18(4):e1010454. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1010454. eCollection 2022 Apr. PubMed PMID: 35363832; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC9007361.

2. Reduced thyroxine production in young household contacts of tuberculosis patients increase active tuberculosis disease risk. Kamakshi Prudhula Devalraju, Deepak Tripathi, Venkata Sanjeev Kumar Neela, Padmaja Paidipally, Rajesh Kumar Radhakrishnan, Ramya Sivangala Thandi, Karan P. Singh, Mohammad Soheb Ansari, Martin Jaeger, Romana T. Netea-Maier, Mihai G. Netea, Sunmi Park, Sheue-yann Cheng, Vijaya Lakshmi Valluri, Ramakrishna Vankayalapati. JCI Insight 2021 Jul 8; 6(13):148271. PMID: 34236051

3. Radhakrishnan RK, Thandi RS, Tripathi D, Paidipally P, McAllister MK, Mulik S, Samten B, Vankayalapati R. BCG vaccination reduces the mortality of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected type 2 diabetes mellitus mice. JCI Insight. 2020 Mar 12;5(5). doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.133788. PubMed PMID: