Faculty bio page2
Saravanan Thangamani, MSc, PhD

Saravanan Thangamani, MSc, PhDAssociate Professor

Department of Pathology
Vice-Chair, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
Director, Arthropod Containment Laboratories (ACL-3/-2)
Director, Insectary Services Core
Director, Tick Vector Biology Program
Cell: (409) 771-7193
Office: (409) 747-2412
Lab: (409) 747-2415
Email: sathanga@utmb.edu
Website: thangamani-lab.com

Saravanan Thangamani, MSc, PhD

The long-term interest of my laboratory is to understand the role of arthropods in arbovirus transmission. We are investigating the functional role of salivary proteins and small RNAs (viral RNAs and MicroRNAs) in manipulating host immune responses and potentiating arbovirus (Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, Powassan virus, Heartland virus and Tick-borne encephalitis virus) establishment. The outcome our research will lead to the development of novel anti-viral strategies. This will also lead to innovative methods of controlling arbovirus transmission, and other arthropod borne diseases. We have reported for the first time the transovarial transmission of Zika virus by Aedes aegypti, and we are currently investigating the determinants of this transovarial transmission. We are also developing animal models for arboviral pathogenesis.
MSc Bharathidasan University, Trichy, India Life Sciences 1998
PhD 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
2016 Experimental Pathology Graduate Student Organization Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring, UTMB Galveston
2016 Exemplary teaching award, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, UTMB Galveston
2006-Present American Society of Microbiology
2008-Present American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2008-Present American Committee on Athropod-borne Viruses
2008-Present American Committee on Medical Entomology
2008-Present American Committee on Molecular, Cellular and Immunoparasitology
2009-Present Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases
2009-Present WHO Center for Tropical Diseases

# Corresponding author,     * - Equally contributed first authors

For complete list of publications: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Thangamani+Saravanan

  • Thangamani S#, Hermance ME, Santos RI, Slovak M, Heinze D, Widen SG and Kazimirova M. 2017. Transcriptional Immunoprofiling at the Tick-Virus-Host Interface during Early Stages of Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Transmission. Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol. 7:494. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00494
  • Kazimírová M, Thangamani S, Bartíková P, Hermance M, Holíková V, Štibrániová I, Nuttall P. 2017. Tick-borne viruses and biological processes at the tick-host-virus interface. Frontiers in Microbiology. Front Cell Infect Microbiol.  ;7:339. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2017.00339.
  • Hermance ME, Thangamani S#. 2017. Powassan virus: An emerging arbovirus of public health concern in North America.  Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2017 May 12. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2017.2110.
  • Saldaña MA, Etebari K, Hart CE, Widen SG, Wood TG, Thangamani S, Asgari S, Hughes GL. Zika virus alters the microRNA expression profile and elicits an RNAi response in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Jul 17;11(7):e0005760. doi: 10.1371.
  • Hart CE, Roundy CM, Azar SR, Huang JH, Yun R,  Reynolds E,  Leal G, Nava MR,   Vela J,    Stark PM,   Debboun M, Rossi S,  Vasilakis N,  Thangamani S#,   Weaver SC. Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes taeniorhynchus from the Gulf Coast are Refractory to Zika Virus Infection. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017 Mar;23(3):559-560.
  • Thangamani S, Huang J, Hart CE, Guzman H, Tesh RB. Vertical transmission of Zika virus in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Aug 29. pii: 16-0448. PMID: 27573623.
  • Tsetsarkin K, Liu G, Kenney H, Hermance M, Thangamani S, and Pletnev A. 2016. Concurrent micro-RNA mediated silencing of tick-borne flavivirus replication in tick vector and in the brain of vertebrate host.  Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 13;6:33088. doi: 10.1038/srep33088.
  • Santos RI, Hermance ME, Gelman BB, Thangamani S. Spinal Cord Ventral Horns and Lymphoid Organ Involvement in Powassan Virus Infection in a Mouse Model. Viruses. 2016 Aug 12;8(8). pii: E220. doi: 10.3390/v8080220.  PMCID: PMC4997582.
  • Immune Cell Targets of Infection at the Tick-Skin Interface during Powassan Virus Transmission. 2016 Hermance ME, Santos RI, Kelly BC, Valbuena G, Thangamani S#. PLoS One. 2016 May 20;11(5):e0155889. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155889.
  • Hermance, M, Thangamani S#. Ixodes scapularis saliva enhances Powassan virus transmission to the host, influencing its dissemination and the course of disease. 2015. Journal of Virology.  J. Virol. doi:10.1128/JVI.01056-15
  • Maharaj PD, Widen SG, Huang J, Wood TG, Thangamani S#.  Discovery of mosquito saliva microRNAs during CHIKV infection. 2015. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 9(1): e0003386. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003386
  • Hermance M, Thangamani S#. Proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines at the skin interface during Powassan virus transmission. J Invest Dermatol. doi: 10.1038/jid.2014.150. PMID: 24658509
  • Thangamani S#, Bente D. 2014. Establishing Protocols for tick containment at Biosafety level 4. Pathog Dis. doi: 10.1111/2049-632X.12187. PMID: 24838773.
  • Heinze DM, Aronson J, Carmical R, Alarcon-Chaidez FJ, Wikel S, Thangamani S#. Host immune response to Dermacentor andersonii feeding. Front Microbiol. 2014 May 7;5:198. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2014.00198. PMID: 24847317.
  • Gargili A, Thangamani S, Bente D. Influence of laboratory animal hosts on the life cycle of Hyalomma marginatum and implications for an in vivo transmission model for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus.  Front Cell Infect Microbiol. PMID: 23971007.
  • Heinze DM, Aronson J, Carmical R, Thangamani S#. 2012. Early immunologic events at the tick-host interface. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47301.PMID:23077588 (Journal Impact factor: 3.53).
  • 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. 85(4):750-7. PMID:21976583 (Journal Impact factor: 2.53).
  • 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
  • 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
  • Zhu Y, Thangamani S, Ho B, Ding JL. The ancient origin of the complement system. EMBO J 2005; 24(2):382-94. PMID: 15616573  
  1. 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
  2. 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 (Journal Impact factor: 3.58).

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