Thirumalai R. Kannan, Ph.D.
Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics
Currently seeking M.S. & Ph.D. students
We mainly focus on the complex interaction between bacterial pathogens and host cells. We study the pathogenesis of two important human pathogens, Mycoplasma pneumoniae and Mycoplasma genitalium. Despite their very small genomes Mycoplasmas have developed unique ways to interact with their hosts. During their co-evolutionary balance, mycoplasmas have evolved an array of virulence factors well suited to counteract a variety of host-cell responses in order to invade, survive and replicate within their hosts. We are interested in identifying and characterizing the bacterial virulence determinants involved in these interactions as well as the molecular, cellular and immunobiology of this process.We use multidisciplinary approaches such as bacterial genetics, molecular biology, cellular microbiology, host cell biology with animal models and advanced immunofluorescence microscopy to characterize the mechanisms by which these pathogens subvert host cell functions to cause disease.
Specific areas of interest include:
Study the mechanism of pathogenesis of M. pneumoniae through "Community acquired respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) toxin," a toxin exclusively produced by M. pneumoniae that we identified.
Study the mechanisms by which M. genitalium adheres, internalizes and survives within host cells. In particular, we are interested in understanding how this bacterium exploits host-cell machinery to gain access to the cell, deviating from standard pathways and reach the nucleus.
- 2003 - Postdoctoral Fellowship - Microbiology - The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
- 1998 - PhD - Microbiology - Madurai Kamaraj University
- 1990 - PhD - Biomedical Genetics - University of Madras
- 1988 - BS - Zoology - Madurai Kamaraj University
- 9/2012 - Associate Professor/Research and Associate Provost for Research - The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, San Antonio
Instruction & Training
- 7/2016 - Present, Masters' Thesis Directed, UTHSCSA
- 9/2014 - Present, Pathogenic Microbiology, The University of Texas Health Science Center
- 8/2014 - Present, Post-Doctoral Student Supervision, UTHSCSA
- 6/2012 - Present, Post-Doctoral Student Supervision, UTHSCSA
- 9/2011 - Present, Acquiring Presentation Skills, The University of Texas Health Science Center
Jesus A. Segovia, Te-Hung Chang, Vicki T. Winter, Jacqueline J. Coalson, Marianna P. Cagle, Lavanya Pandranki, Santanu Bose, Joel B. Baseman and Thirumalai R. Kannan. NLRP3 Is a Critical Regulator of Inflammation and Innate Immune Cell Response during Mycoplasma pneumoniae Infection Infect. Immun 2018 Jan;86(1). Ramasamy K, Balasubramanian S, Manickam K, Pandranki L, Taylor AB, Hart PJ, Baseman JB, Kannan TR. Mycoplasma pneumoniae community-acquired respiratory distress syndrome toxin uses a novel KELED sequence for retrograde transport and subsequent cytotoxicity mBio 2018 Jan;. Maselli DJ, Medina JL, Brooks EG, Coalson JJ, Kannan TR, Winter VT, Principe M, Cagle MP, Baseman JB, Dube PH, Peters JI. The immunopathologic effects of Mycoplasma pneumoniae and CARDS toxin: a primate model Am J Respir Cell Mol Bio 2017 Sep;. Pamela Wood, MD; Jordan C Kampschmidt, BS; Peter H Dube, PhD; Marianna P Cagle, MA; Paola Chaparro, MS; Norma Ketchum; Thirumalai R Kannan, PhD; Harjinder Singh, MD; Jay I Peters, MD; Joel B Baseman, PhD; Edward G Brooks, MD. Mycoplasma pneumoniae and health outcomes in children with asthma Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 2017 Aug;. Tsai SY, Segovia JA, Chang TH, Shil NK, Pokharel SM, Kannan TR, Baseman JB, Defrene J, Page N, Cesaro A, Tessier PA, Bose S. Regulation of TLR3 Activation by S100A9 J immunol 2015 Nov;195(9):4426-4437. Becker A, Kannan TR, Taylor AB, Pakhomova ON, Zhang Y, Somarajan SR, Galaleldeen A, Holloway SP, Baseman JB, Hart PJ. Structure of CARDS toxin, a unique ADP-ribosylating and vacuolating cytotoxin from Mycoplasma pneumoniae PNAS 2015 Apr;112(16):5165-5170. Bose S, Segovia JA, Somarajan SR, Chang TH, Kannan TR, Baseman JB. ADP-ribosylation of NLRP3 by Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS toxin regulates inflammasome activity MBio 2014 Dec;5(6). Somarajan SR, Al-Asadi F, Ramasamy K, Pandranki L, Baseman JB, Kannan TR. Annexin A2 mediates Mycoplasma pneumoniae community-acquired respiratory distress syndrome toxin binding to eukaryotic cells MBio 2014 Aug;5(4). Medina JL, Coalson JJ, Brooks EG, Le Saux CJ, Winter WT, Chaparro A, Principe MFR, Solis L, Kannan TR, Baseman JB, Dube PH. Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS toxin exacerbates ovalbumin-induced asthma-like inflammation in BALB/c mice PlosOne 2014 Jul;9(7). Kannan TR, Krishnan M, Ramasamy K, Becker A, Pakhomova ON, Hart PJ, and Baseman JB. Functional mapping of community-acquired respiratory distress syndrome (CARDS) toxin of Mycoplasma pneumoniae defines regions with ADP-ribosyltransferase, vacuolating and receptor-binding activities Mol Microbiol 2014 Jul;93(3):568-581. Hardy, RD, Coalson JJ, Peters, JI, Chaparro, A, Techasaensiri, C, Cantwell AM, Kannan TR, Baseman JB, Dube PH. Analysis of Pulmonary Inflammation and Function in the Mouse and Baboon after Exposure to Mycoplasma pneumoniae CARDS Toxin Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE) 2009 Oct;4(10).