Borna Mehrad, MBBS

Borna Mehrad, MBBS

Borna  Mehrad
Degree(s): MBBS
Graduate School: University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
Primary Appointment: Professor, Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Research Interests:
Pulmonary anti-microbial host defense
Email Address: mehrad@virginia.edu

Research Description

Our lab is interested in the innate defenses of the lung against inhaled microorganisms. The gas exchange surface of the the lung represents a huge interface between the body and the environment, and it is constantly barraged by microorganisms that are inhaled or aspirated. We have evolved a complex and highly effective set of defenses that kill the vast majority of microorganisms quickly once they arrive on this surface. Our lab studies these innate immune mechanisms in the context of mouse models, in response to two commonly inhaled pathogens: the mould, Aspergillus fumigatus, and the Gram negative bacterium, Klebsiella pneumoniae.

A. fumigatus is the most common cause of invasive aspergillosis, a severe infection in immunocompromised hosts. Allergic airwayresponses to the same organism can cause illness in immunocompetent individuals. Much of our work in invasive aspergillosis has focused  on the role of a lymphocytes subset, natural killer cells.  Specifically, we are examining the  mechanisms of influx, activation,  and anti-microbial effector  functions of NK cells in this infection.

K. pneumoniae is a frequent cause of Gram negative bacterial pneumonia, a serious infection in hospitalized patients. In the context of this infection, we have found a genetic locus that confers a marked resistance to this infection in a mouse model of this infection. We are in the process of defining the mechanism of protection that this locus confers.


Selected Publications

Mehrad B, Strieter RM.  Fibrocytes and the pathogenesis of diffuse parenchymal lung disease. Fibrogenesis Tissue Repair. 2012 Jun 6;5 Suppl 1:S22. [Epub ahead of print]

Schutt RC, Burdick MD, Strieter RM, Mehrad B, Keeley EC.  Plasma CXCL12 Levels as a Predictor of Future Stroke. Stroke. 2012 Dec;43(12):3382-6. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.660878. Epub 2012 Oct 4.

Barletta KE, Cagnina RE, Burdick MD, Linden J, Mehrad B.  Adenosine A(2B) receptor deficiency promotes host defenses against gram-negative bacterial pneumonia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Nov 15;186(10):1044-50. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201204-0622OC. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Keeley EC, Mehrad B, Janardhanan R, Salerno M, Hunter JR, Burdick MM, Field JJ, Strieter RM, Kramer CM.  Elevated circulating fibrocyte levels in patients with hypertensive heart disease. J Hypertens. 2012 Sep;30(9):1856-61. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32835639bb.

Barletta KE, Ley K, Mehrad B.  Regulation of neutrophil function by adenosine. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2012 Apr;32(4):856-64. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.111.226845. Review.

Park SJ, Burdick MD, Mehrad B.  Neutrophils mediate maturation and efflux of lung dendritic cells in response to Aspergillus fumigatus germ tubes. Infect Immun. 2012 May;80(5):1759-65. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00097-12. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Barletta KE, Cagnina RE, Wallace KL, Ramos SI, Mehrad B, Linden J.  Leukocyte compartments in the mouse lung: distinguishing between marginated, interstitial, and alveolar cells in response to injury. J Immunol Methods. 2012 Jan 31;375(1-2):100-10. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2011.09.013. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

PubMed link for this faculty member


Contact Information
Office Address: PO Box 800546,
Office Phone: 434-243-4845