Srinand Sreevatsan, PhD, MVSc, MPH

Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine (VPM)

Srinand Sreevatsan

Contact Info

sreev001@umn.edu

Office Phone 612-625-3769

PhD, University of Minnesota

MVSc, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore

MPH, University of Minnesota

BVSc, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore

Summary

I am a Professor of Infectious Disease at the Veterinary Population Medicine Department. I have dedicated my scientific career to zoonotic disease investigations at the cellular and molecular level. I am interested in the ecology and molecular evolution of infectious agents and how they are modulated by changes in host and environmental niches. My research is highly interdisciplinary and encompasses all aspects of cellular, molecular pathogen-host interactions and epidemiology and ecology of infectious disease and collaborations across the country and the globe. A translational aspect of my studies is the development of novel unambiguous disease detection platforms and applications into immunoprohyllaxis. Thus my scientific inquiry focuses on world’s greatest infectious diseases such as those caused by mycobacteria and influenza A.

Primary areas of my research, address questions on pathogen-host interactions and bacterial and/or evolutionary genetics and the development of resistance against antimicrobial agents. Implications of my research findings have further lent to development of genome-wide SNP analyses in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex and enhanced our understanding of disease character and outcome, and velocity of pathogen spread. Genomic epidemiology tools have also helped us understand interspecies transmission of pathogens in resource limited ecosystems. Pathobiological or biomedical studies to answer transmission questions and to identify most representative strains for optimal vaccine development will benefit from findings of our studies. Over the last 15 years, my research has taken a turn toward translational science. In this regard, I have applied basic molecular evolutionary and pathogenesis information to diagnostics and vaccine development. One major area of emphasis has been to develop pathogen/receptor specific biomarkers to enable detection as well monitor response to treatment. The second arm of translational research is in the development of pathogen-specific receptors or aptamers to enable detection and/or drug targeting. I have developed a pipeline of methods to select and validate DNA aptamers for this purpose. In addition to a strong scientific program, I have developed leadership skills via participation in team science as a part of large consortium grants, serving as a director of graduate studies for the last 8 years shaping the program into an integrated teaching-learning-clinical system of education, and as a mentor for multiple junior faculty helping negotiate and navigate through the tenure process. I have also played an integral role in helping build a strong international collaboration at the CVM at UMN.

Research

Research Summary/Interests

Current Projects

1. Influenza virus ecology and evolution

2. Mycobacterial disease

  • Host-pathogen interactions – functional genomics of mycobacteria in natural infections; mechanisms of microbial survival and persistence in granuloma; mechanisms of mycobacterial cell entry and exit in ex-vivo (Macrophage, epithelial cell, and co-culture) models.
  • Iron regulation in Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP)
  • Role of MAP in Crohn’s disease pathogenesis – animal and cell models
  • Biomarker discovery and applications for mycobacterial infections
  • Population genetic structure of M. bovis
  • Interspecies transmission of tuberculosis using genomic epidemiology
  • Trait-allele association studies in M. bovis

3. Mechanisms of prion misfolding – development high affinity ligands to detect and differentiate prion strains.

4. Metabolic reconstruction and development of improved cultivation media for bioterrorism agents

Research Funding Grants

AFRI-NIFA Foundational Program (Iron regulation in MAP); Department of Homeland Security; Agriculture Experiment Station (Rapid Ag Response funds – Nanoparticle based mucosal vaccines); Grand Challenges –UMN (Interspecies transmission of tuberculosis in Uganda).

Publications