Nisha Jain Garg, PhD

Nisha Jain Garg, PhD

Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology

Phone: (409) 747-6865

Nisha Jain Garg, PhD

  • Nisha Jain Garg, PhD is currently Professor in the Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology. Dr.Garg has developed a strong and successful research program in the field of tropical infectious cardiomyopathy. Her research efforts have led to >45 peer-reviewed journal articles on the concept of Chagas disease, and >15 extramurally funded projects.She is currently member of the NIH PTHE study section, Associate editor of the American Journal of Pathology, and serving as Franklin Fellow at the Department of State.

    Dr.Garg’s lab efforts are targeted to win the human fight against Trypanosoma cruzi that causes Chagasic cardiomyopathy.Chagas disease is a major public health threat in Latin America and Mexico, and recognized as an emerging infectious disease in the U.S. Her ongoing translational research with multiple international collaborations focuses on identifying the potential vaccine candidates, and using these candidates to develop multi-component vaccine(s) that provide protection against different T.cruzi strains in multiple animal hosts and humans. Working with young students and scientists in the lab, Dr.Garg utilizes innovative approaches to understand the pathomechanisms of oxidative stress in progressive Chagas disease, and develop adjunct therapies that can prevent or arrest the chronic heart failure.

  • BS Kurukshetra University, India Biology 1980
    MS Haryana Agriculture University, India Biochemistry/Microbiology 1982
    PhD Haryana Agricultural University, India Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 1988
    MBA University of Houston (Clear Lake) General Administration 2008
  • 2009 Franklin Fellow, Department of State/US Agency for International Development
    2009 Selected by the Dean of School of Medicine to be the University’s nominee for the Jefferson Science Fellowship of the Department of State/National Academies of Science
    2008 Associate Editor, American Journal of Pathology
    2008 International Education Board member, American Society of Microbiology
    2007 Nominated for Fred L.Soper award for excellence in health literature by the University of the State of Mexico, Mexico
    2007-Present Editorial board member, Infection & Immunity Journal (Am Soc Microbiol)
    2005 Society Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Judge for abstracts and poster presentations
    2005 Ruth Salta Junior Investigator Achievement Award for best research under American Health Science Foundation research grant
    2002-2003 Selected by the Vice President of Research to be the University’s nominee for the Burroughs Wellcome Scholarship in Infectious Diseases
    2002-2003 Selected by the Vice President of Research to be the University’s nominee for the Ellison Scholarships in Infectious Diseases
  • 2009-Present Franklin Fellow, Department of State, Washington DC
    2005-Present Scientist, Institute for Human Infections and Immunity UTMB, Galveston, TX
    2001-Present Scientist, Sealy Center for Vaccine Development, UTMB, Galveston, TX
    2000-Present Member, WHO collaborating Center for Tropical Diseases, UTMB, Galveston, TX
    2009-Present Professor, Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology, UTMB
    2005-2009 Associate Professor, Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology, UTMB
    2000-2005 Assistant Professor, Departments of Microbiology & Immunology and Pathology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

    Research Scientist, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

    1993-1997 Post-doctoral Fellow, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
    1991-1993 Assistant Scientist, Center for Biotechnology, New Delhi, India
    1988-1991 Pool-officer, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Hisar, India
    1. Garg NJ, Gerstner A, Bhatia V, DeFord J, Papaconstantinou J (2004).Gene expression analysis in mitochondria from chagasic mice: alterations in specific metabolic pathways.Biochem J 381: 743-52
    2. Vyatkina G, Bhatia V, Gerstner A, Papaconstantinou J, Garg NJ (2004).Impaired mitochondrial respiratory chain and bioenergetics during chagasic cardiomyopathy development.Biochim Biophys Acta 1689: 162-73
    3. Wen JJ, Vyatkina G, Garg NJ (2004).Oxidative damage during chagasic cardiomyopathy development: role of mitochondrial oxidant release and inefficient antioxidant defense.Free Radic Biol Med 37: 1821-33
    4. Wen JJ, Garg NJ (2004).Oxidative modification of mitochondrial respiratory complexes in response to the stress of Trypanosoma cruzi infection.Free Radic Biol Med 37: 2072-81
    5. Bhatia V, Sinha M, Luxon B, Garg NJ (2004).Utility of the Trypanosoma cruzi sequence database for identification of potential vaccine candidates by in silico and in vitro screening.Infect Immun 72: 6245-54
    6. Senkovich O, Bhatia V, Garg NJ, Chattopadhyay D (2005).Lipophilic antifolate trimetrexate is a potent inhibitor of Trypanosoma cruzi: prospect for chemotherapy of Chagas' disease.Antimicrob Agents Chemother 49: 3234-8
    7. Zacks MA, Wen JJ, Vyatkina G, Bhatia V, Garg NJ (2005).An overview of chagasic cardiomyopathy: pathogenic importance of oxidative stress.An Acad Bras Cienc 77: 695-715
    8. Estrada-Franco JG, Bhatia V, Diaz-Albiter H, Ochoa-Garcia L, Barbabosa A, Vazquez-Chagoyan JC, Martinez-Perez MA, Guzman-Bracho C, Garg NJ (2006).Human Trypanosoma cruzi infection and seropositivity in dogs, Mexico.Emerg Infect Dis 12: 624-30
    9. Wen JJ, Yachelini PC, Sembaj A, Manzur RE, Garg NJ (2006).Increased oxidative stress is correlated with mitochondrial dysfunction in chagasic patients.Free Rad Biol Med 41:270-276
    10. Wen JJ, Bhatia V, Garg NJ (2006).Phenyl-alpha-tert-butyl nitrone reverses mitochondrial decay in acute Chagas disease.Am J Pathol 169: 1953-64
    11. Dhiman M, Nakayasu ES, Madaiah YH, Reynolds BK, Wen JJ, Almeida IC, Garg NJ (2008).Enhanced nitrosative stress during Trypanosoma cruzi infection causes nitrotyrosine modification of host proteins: implications in Chagas' disease.Am J Pathol 173: 728-40
    12. Wen JJ, Garg NJ (2008).Mitochondrial generation of reactive oxygen species is enhanced at the Q(o) site of the complex III in the myocardium of Trypanosoma cruzi-infected mice: beneficial effects of an antioxidant.J Bioenerg Biomembr 40 (6): 587-598
    13. Bhatia V, Garg NJ (2008).Previously unrecognized vaccine candidates control Trypanosoma cruzi infection and immunopathology in mice.Clin Vaccine Immunol 15: 1158-64
    14. Wen JJ, Dhiman M, Whorton EB, Garg NJ (2008).Tissue-specific oxidative imbalance and mitochondrial dysfunction during Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mice.Microbes Infect 10: 1201-1209
    15. Barbabosa-Pliego A, Díaz-Albiter HM, Ochoa-García ML, Aparicio-Burgos E, López-Heydeck SM, Velásquez-Ordoñez V, R.C.F-M, Díaz-González VS, Guzmán-Bracho C, Estrada-Franco JG, Garg NJ, Vázquez-Chagoyán JC (2009).Trypanosoma cruzi circulating in the southern region of the State of Mexico is highly pathogenic: a Dog model.Am J Trop Med Hyg 81 (3): 390-395
    16. Dhiman M, Estrada-Franco JG, Pando J, Ramirez-Aguilar F, Vasquez-Corzo S, Perez-Molina G, Gallegos-Sandoval R, Moreno R, Garg NJ (2009).Increased myeloperoxidase activity and protein nitration are indicators of chronic inflammation in chagasic patients, Clin Vacc Immunol 16 (5): 660-666.
    17. Bhatia V, Garg NJ (2005).Current status and future prospects for a vaccine against American trypanosomiasis.Expert Rev Vaccines 4: 867-880.
    18. Garg NJ (2005).Mitochondrial disorders in chagasic cardiomyopathy.Front Biosci 10: 1341-54.
    19. Zacks MA, Garg NJ (2006).Recent developments in the molecular, biochemical and functional characterization of GPI8 and GPI-anchoring mechanism.Mol Membr Biol 23: 209-225.
    20. Bhatia V, Wen J-J, Zacks MA, Garg NJ (2009).American trypanosomiasis: Perspectives for vaccine development.Barrett A, Stanberry LR, eds.Vaccines Against Biothreat and Emerging Infectious Diseases: Elsevier Press.

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