Pharmacology and Toxicology - Research

Jai S. Rudra, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Research Interests

The research in my laboratory focuses on the development of synthetic and chemically-defined vaccines for eliciting antibody- and cell-mediated immunity against solid cancers and infectious diseases. In contrast to live-attenuated vaccines, the development of synthetic vaccines is based on (1) understanding the immunobiology of infection and identification of specific target molecules and (2) the development of an appropriate vaccine delivery system to elicit the right kind of immune response. We utilize molecular self-assembly to generate modular and multivalent constructs (nanofibers, nanoparticles, vesicles etc.), where each construct is composed of a self-assembling subunit covalently linked to an adjuvant, immunogen, or immunotherapeutic molecule. Our goal is to engineer the vaccine construct to be self-adjuvanting, deliver antigens/therapeutics through specific pathways, and polarize immune responses for the optimal expression of B and T cell effector function and the differentiation and maintenance of antigen-specific memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. While this technology is broadly useful, we are currently focusing its development on two critical areas: immunotherapy for solid tumors and prevention of chronic infectious diseases such as malaria.

Selected Publications

Rudra J.S., Sun T., Bird K., Daniels M.D., Chong A.S., and Collier J.H. (2011) Modulating immune responses to peptide self-assemblies, ACS Nano submitted.

Rudra J.S., Jung J.P., Hildeman D.A., and Collier J.H. (2010) Immune responses to supramolecular coiled coil peptide-polymer biomaterials, Biomaterials, 31:8475-8483.

*Rudra J.S., Tian Y.F., Jung J.P., and Collier J.H. (2010) A self-assembling peptide acting as an immune adjuvant, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:622-627. *Research Highlight “Recipe for antibodies” Nat Nanotechnol (2010) 5:97.

Collier J.H., Rudra J.S., Gasiorowski G.Z., and Jung J.P. (2010) Multi-component extracellular matrices based on peptide self-assembly, Chem Soc Rev, 39:3413-3424.

Jung J.P., Nagaraj A.K., Fox E.K., Rudra J.S., Devgun J.M., and Collier J.H. (2009) Co-assembling Peptides as Defined Matrices for Endothelial Cells, Biomaterials, 30(12): 2400-2410.

Li H.C., Collier J.H., Shawki A., Rudra J.S., Li E.Y., Mackenzie B., Soleimani M. (2009) Sequence- or Position-Specific Mutations in the Carboxyl-Terminal FL Motif of the Kidney Sodium Bicarbonate Cotransporter (NBC1) Disrupt Its Basolateral Targeting and a-Helical Structure, J. Membrane Biol. 228:111-124.

Jing P., Rudra J.S., Herr A.B., Collier J.H. (2008) Self-assembling peptide-polymer hydrogels designed from the coiled coil region of fibrin, Biomacromolecules 9(9): 2438-2446.

Zhang L., Zhao W., Rudra J.S., and Haynie D.T. (2007) Context Dependent Assembly and Stability of Polypeptide Multilayer Nanofilms, ACS Nano, 1:476-486.

Haynie D.T., Zhang L., Zhao W., Rudra J.S. (2006) Protein-inspired Multilayer Nanofilms: Science, Technology and Medicine, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine 2:150-157.

Rudra J.S., Dave K., and Haynie D.T. (2006) Antimicrobial Polypeptide Multilayer Nanocoatings, J. Biomater. Sci. Polym. Edn. 17:1301-1315.

Haynie D.T., Zhang L., Rudra J.S., Zhao W., Zhong Y., and Palath N. (2005) Polypeptide Multilayer Films, Biomacromolecules 6, 2895-2913.