Saravanan Thangamani, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Saravanan Thangamani, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology;
Director, ACL-3 Laboratory;
Director, Insectary Services Core, Galveston National Laboratory
Member, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity;
Member, Center for Tropical Diseases

University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB)
301 University Boulevard
Galveston, TX 77555-0609

Cell: 409-771-7193
Office: 409-747-2412
Lab: 409-747-2415
Fax: 409-772-3338

« Back

Saravanan Thangamani, M.Sc., Ph.D.

Professional Education

Degree Institution Field of Study Graduation Year
M.Sc. Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India Life Sciences 1998
Ph.D. Institute of Parasitology, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic Molecular and Cell Biology 2003

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Innate Immunity


University of Connecticut Health Center, CT, USA

Immunology of Vector-Host-Pathogen Interactions



1998 Tamil Nadu (India) State Government’s Student Research Project fellowship, to identify tannery effluent resistant microbes, India.
2002 EMBO Short Term Fellowship, to study the interaction between Tick alpha-2-Macroglobulin and African Swine Fever Virus at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright Laboratory, UK

Professional Affiliations

2006 American Society of Microbiology
2008 American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2008 American Committee on Athropod-borne Viruses
2008 American Committee on Medical Entomology
2008 American Committee on Molecular, Cellular and Immunoparasitology
2009 Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
2009 WHO Center for Tropical Diseases

Research Interests

Emerging and re-emerging diseases transmitted by blood feeding arthropods are significant global public health problems. There is a real threat that these diseases could be introduced into new ecological niches, and the disease causing agents has a great potential to be used as bioterrorism agents. During the course of blood feeding, ticks/mosquitoes introduce pharmacologically active molecules into the host that are essential for both obtaining a blood meal and for successful transmission of infectious agents. Some of these molecules stimulate host innate and specific acquired immune responses that induce resistance to mosquito feeding. In turn, ticks/mosquitoes have developed immunomodulatory countermeasures, which suppress or deviate host innate and specific acquired immune responses. Interactions between host immunity and mosquito/tick mediated immunomodulation are central to successful ticks/mosquitoes feeding and disease transmission. A major focus of my research is characterization of the complex cellular and molecular immunology of the tick/mosquito-host-pathogen interface. This will lead to development of rational strategies to control vector-borne diseases.

Selected Publications

  1. Articles in peer-reviewed journals:
    * - Equally contributed first authors
    Relevant to vector biology:

    1. Heinze DM, Wikel SK, Thangamani S, and Alarcon-Chaidez FJ .2012.Transcriptional profiling of the murine cutaneous response during initial and subsequent infestations with Ixodes scapularis nymphs. Parasites & Vectors. In Press.
    2. Long KC, Ziegler SA, Thangamani S, Hausser NL, Kochel TJ, Higgs S, Tesh RB. 2011. Experimental transmission of Mayaro virus by Aedes aegypti. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2011 Oct;85(4):750-7.
    3. Thangamani S, Higgs S, Ziegler S, Vanlandingham D, Tesh R, Wikel S. 2010. Host immune response to mosquito-transmitted chikungunya virus differs from that elicited by needle inoculated virus. PLoS ONE, 5(8):e12137. PMID:20711354.
    4. Boppana VD*, Thangamani S*, Alarcon-Chaidez FJ, Adler AJ, Wikel SK. 2009. Blood feeding by the Rocky Mountain spotted fever vector, Dermacentor andersoni, induces interleukin-4 expression by cognate antigen responding CD4+T cells.  Parasites & Vectors 2009, 2:47. PMID: 19814808.
    5. Thangamani S, and Wikel SK. 2009. Differential expression of the salivary transcriptome of Aedes aegypti upon blood feeding. Parasites & Vectors. 2(1):34. PMID: 19630962.
    6. Boppana VD*, Thangamani S*, Adler A, Wikel SK. SAAG-4 is a Novel Mosquito Salivary Protein that Programs Host CD4+ T Cells to Express IL-4. Parasite Immunol. 2009. 31(6):287-95. PMID: 19493208.
    7. Saravanan T, Weise C, Sojka D, Kopacek P. Molecular cloning, structure and bait region splice variants of alpha-2-macroglobulin from the soft tick Ornithodoros moubata. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 2003; 33(8):841-51. PMID: 12878230.
    8. Kopacek P, Weise C, Saravanan T, Vitova K, Grubhoffer L. Characterization of an alpha-macroglobulin-like glycoprotein isolated from the plasma of the soft tick Ornithodoros moubata. Eur J Biochem. 2000; 267 (2):465-75. PMID: 10632716.
    9. Thangamani S, Ribeiro JM, Wikel SK. A novel fibrinogen binding protein from the salivary glands of Aedes aegypti. Manuscript in preparation.

    Other publications relevant to innate immunity:

    1. Giri PK, Xuhua T, Thangamani S, Shenoy RT, Ding JL, Swaminathan K and J. Sivaraman. 2010. Modifying the substrate specificity of Carcinocscorpious rotundicauda serine protease inhibitor domain 1 to target Thrombin. PLoS ONE. 5(12):e15258. PMID: 21188150
    2. Jiang N*, Thangamani S*, Chor CF, Wang SY, Winarsih I, Du RJ, Sivaraman J, Ho B, Ding JL. A novel serine protease inhibitor acts as an immunomodulatory switch while maintaining homeostasis. J Innate Immun. 2009;1:465-479.
    3. Tulsidas SR, Thangamani S, Sivaraman J, Ho B, and Ding JL.  Crystallization of a non-classical Kazal-type Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda serine protease inhibitor, CrSPI-1, complexed with subtilisin. Acta Cryst. 2009. F65, 533-535. PMID: 19407396.
    4. Ding JL, Tan KC, Thangamani S, Kusuma N, Seow WK, Bui TH, Wang J, Ho B. Spatial and temporal coordination of expression of immune response genes during Pseudomonas infection of horseshoe crab, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda. Genes Immun 2005;6 (7):557-74. PMID: 16001078.
    5. Zhu Y, Thangamani S, Ho B, Ding JL. The ancient origin of the complement system. EMBO J 2005; 24(2):382-94. PMID: 15616573.
    6. Tulsidas SR, Thangamani S, Velazquez-Campoy A, Sivaraman J, Ho B, and Ding JL. Structural Basis for a dual inhibition mechanism of a non classical kazal type inhibitor to regulate host and pathogen protease interactions.2011. PLoS ONE. 6(4): e18838

    NIH Biosketch