University of California, Riverside

School of Medicine

Faculty Biographies

Meera G. Nair

Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Meera Nair

University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Tel: (951) 827-7734
Office: 301 School of Medicine Research Building

Education and Training

  • B.Sc. (Honors), Imperial College London, United Kingdom, 1999
  • Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, 2004
  • Postdoctorate, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 2011

Research Summary

My lab investigates the immune mechanisms underlying lung and intestinal infection and inflammation. Specifically, we investigate macrophages, a critical innate cell-type that plays a role in immunity to helminth pathogens. Dependent on the activation stimuli, macrophages can either be beneficial by clearing debris, dead cells and restoring immune homeostasis, or pathologic, by exacerbating inflammation. We are interested in delineating the protective versus pathogenic activation pathways and macrophage-secreted molecules that can be targeted to treat inflammation. We previously identified the Resistin-Like Molecules (RELM) - murine RELMa and human resistin - as macrophage-secreted proteins that regulate the balance between immunity and inflammation to helminth pathogens. For this research, we have established clinical collaborations, developed preclinical models of helminth infection and sepsis, and generated macrophage and RELM reporter mice. Based on these tools and my expertise, my lab’s research addresses three main questions:

(1) Investigate how do macrophages contribute to mucosal immunity and inflammation to helminths.
(2) Elucidate the functional significance of Resistin-Like Molecules (RELM) in these infection models.
(3) Identify new pathways of helminth-host communication such as endocannabinoids.

Selected Publications

  • Batugedara H.M., Li J., Chen G., Lu D., Patel J.J., Jang J.C., Radecki K.C., Burr A.C., Lo D.D., Dillman A.R., Nair M.G. Hematopoietic cell-derived RELMalpha regulates hookworm immunity through effects on macrophages. Journal of leukocyte biology. 2018. Link to paper: UCR Today Article.
  • Batugedara H.M., Argueta D., Jang J.C., Lu D., Macchietto M., Kaur J., Ge S., Dillman A.R., DiPatrizio N.V., Nair M.G. Host and helminth-derived endocannabinoids are generated during infection with functional effects on host immunity. Infection and immunity. 2018. UCR Today Article
  • Pine G.M., Batugedara H.M., Nair M.G. Here, There and Everywhere: Resistin-like Molecules in Infection, Inflammation, and Metabolic Disorders. Cytokine. 2018.
  • Jang J.C., Li J., Gambini L., Batugedara H.M., Sati S., Lazar M.A., Fan L., Pellecchia M., Nair M.G. (2017).Human resistin protects against endotoxic shock by blocking LPS-TLR4 interaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.2017. Link to paper: Today article
  • Nair M.G., Herbert R.H. Immune polarization by hookworms: taking cues from T helper type 2, type 2 innate lymphoid cells and alternatively activated macrophages. Immunology 2016
  • Chen G., Wang S.H., Jang J.C., Odegaard J.I., Nair M.G. Comparison of RELMα and RELMβ Single- and Double-Gene-Deficient Mice Reveals that RELMα Expression Dictates Inflammation and Worm Expulsion in Hookworm Infection. Infect Immun. 2016 - UCR Today article
  • Barnes M.A., Carson M.J., Nair M.G. How catecholamines and adipokines influence macrophages in immunity, metabolism and the central nervous system. Cytokine. 2015.
  • Jang J.C., Chen G., Wang S.H., Chung J.I., Camberis M., Le Gros G., Cooper P.J., Steel C., Nutman T.B., Lazar M.A., Nair M.G. Human resistin is induced in multiple helminth infections and promotes inflammatory monocytes and increased parasite burden. PLoS Pathogens. 2015. - UCR Today article
  • Osborne L., Joyce K.L., Alenghat T., Giacomin P.R., Sonnenberg G.F., Du Y., Bergstrom K., Vallance B., Nair M.G. Resistin-like molecule (RELM) α promotes Th17 cell responses and bacterial-induced colitis. Journal of Immunology. 2013.

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