Dr. Rudra's research interests are focused on the pathogenesis of obligate intracellular bacteria, namely rickettsiae and ehrlichiae. His long term goal is to study molecular pathogenesis of rickettsioses, specifically on microvascular permeability and to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the increased vascular permeability seen in rickettsioses. He is interested in adherens- and tight junction proteins and the signal transduction pathways involved in their regulation. Such increased vascular permeability leads to cerebral and pulmonary edema, the two main causes of morbidity and mortality in human rickettsioses.
Located on historic Galveston Island, Texas, the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development (SCVD) was inaugurated in December, 2001. With 70+ faculty members from twelve School of Medicine Departments, the center incorporates the expertise of more than 100 cutting-edge research programs currently at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). The faculty and staff of the SCVD strive to create, perfect and promote the most effective and safest disease prevention strategies. In this endeavor, the center carries on the proud tradition of medical research and discovery that has been a hallmark of UTMB since its beginning.
The center fosters the highest quality collaborative and programmatic research and facilitates the translation of laboratory findings to prevention of infectious diseases in the community.
A few examples of diseases, conditions and pathogens for which vaccine research and development are being conducted include:
Noninfectious Diseases and Conditions
In addition, our clinical trials group undertakes a variety of phase I, phase II and phase III studies in populations from neonates to senior citizens.
Furthermore, members of the center also examine influences on vaccine acceptance and uptake, and address issues relevant to the development of public policies governing health care. In addition, the center facilitates education and training in vaccinology for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and physicians.