Assistant Professor- Acute and Tertiary Care
Assistant Professor- Microbiology, Immunology, & Biochemistry
Assistant Professor- Institute for the Study of Host-Pathogen Systems

MEMPHIS TN 381632275
Tel: (901) 448-3218


  • PostDoc, University of Iowa, Viral Immunology
  • Ph.D., Oakland University, Biological Sciences (Viral Immunology)
  • M.S., Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Veterinary Pathology
  • D.V.M., Veterinary College, KVAFSU, India, Veterinary Medicine

Research Description

Virus-host interactions and mechanisms of protective and pathogenic immunity

1) Virus-host interactions and mechanisms of protective immunity to viral lung infections.

Emerging and re-emerging viruses are a significant threat to global public health. This threat is illustrated by the continuous appearance of several highly pathogenic viruses. Among these viruses, emerging [(Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-CoV (SARS-CoV) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-CoV (MERS-CoV)] and re-emerging (influenza virus) respiratory viruses pose substantial threats to human health and the global economy. Therefore, it is essential to understand the immunobiology of highly pathogenic virus infections in order to identify specific factors contributing to the unusually high pathogenicity, and to develop effective prophylactic and therapeutic strategies to prevent and control future outbreaks. One of our goals is to examine the virus and host factors mediating protective and pathogenic immune responses to the highly virulent respiratory virus (hCoV and influenza virus) infections. We will use immunology-, virology- and molecular biology-based in vitro and in vivo experiments. We will also use well-established transfection methods and viral vectors (adenovirus or lentivirus) to either knock down/out (siRNA and CRISPR/Cas9) or overexpress gene targets in vitro and in vivo. In vivo studies include the use of WT, knockout and knock-in mice. 

2) Improving host immune response to infections and vaccinations in the elderly.

We are also developing a research program to investigate the host factors responsible for sub-optimal immune response to virus infections in the elderly, with an ultimate goal to develop therapeutics for viral lung infections and enhance the immune response to viral infections and vaccines. Aging is associated with an increased risk of acquiring infections due to dysregulated or impaired immune response. Since the elderly population is increasing due to increased life expectancy, understanding the basis of this increased susceptibility to infections is critical. Our recent results show that dysregulated interferon (IFN) and inflammatory immune cell responses are in-part responsible for the deleterious outcomes following viral lung infections in the aged hosts. Using mouse models of viral lung infections, we will examine the role of IFNs and monocytes-macrophages in host protection during aging. We are recently funded by the NIH/NIA to examine the role of interferons in host protection during aging.  


  1. Rudragouda Channappanavar, Anthony R Fehr, Jian Zheng, Christine Wohlford-Lenane, Juan E Abrahante, Matthias Mack, Ramakrishna Sompallae, David K Meyerholz, and Stanley Perlman (2019). Relative timing of type I interferon response and virus replication determines disease outcome during MERS-CoV infections. Journal of Clinical Investigation (Accepted).
  2. Wenxu Jia#, Rudragouda Channappanavar#, Chao Zhang, Mingxi Li, Haixia Zhou, Shuyuan Zheng, Panpan Zhou, Jiuyang Xu, Sisi Shan, Xuanling Shi, Xinquan Wang, Jincun Zhao, Dongming Zhou, Stanley Perlman, and Linqi Zhang (2019). Single intranasal immunization with chimpanzee adenovirus-based vaccine induces sustained and protective immunity against lethal MERS-CoV infection. Emerging Microbes and Infections (Accepted) # Equal Contribution.
  3. Daniel K.W. Chu, Kenrie PY Hui, Ranawaka A.P.M Perera, Eve Miguel, Daniela Niemeyer, Jincun Zhao, Rudragouda Channappanavar, Gytis Dudas, Jamiu O Getnet Demissie, Doreen Muth…………….…Stanley Perlman, Christian Drosten, Veronique Chevalier, Malik Peiris (2018). MERS coronaviruses from camels in Africa exhibit region-dependent genetic diversity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Mar 20;115(12):3144-3149., 2018.
  4. Jeremiah Athmer, Anthony Fehr, Matthew Grunewald, Wen Qu, Dorthea Wheeler, Kevin Graepel, Rudragouda Channappanavar, Aimee Sekine, Dana Aldabeeb, Michael Gale, Jr., Mark Denison, and Stanley Perlman.. Selective Packaging in Murine Coronavirus Promotes Virulence by Limiting Type-I IFN Responses. MBio. 2018 May 1;9(3).., 2018.
  5. Xiaoyang Hua, Rahul Vijay, Rudragouda Channappanavar, Jeremiah Athmer, David K. Meyerholz, Nitin Pagedar, Stephen Tilley and Stanley Perlman. Nasal priming by a murine coronavirus provides protective immunity against lethal heterologous virus pneumonia. JCI Insight. 2018;3(11):e99025., 2018.
  6. Li K, Wohlford-Lenane CL, Channappanavar R, Park JE, Bair TB, Flaherty HA, Gallagher T, Meyerholz DK, Perlman S, McCray, Jr PB. (2017). Mouse-adapted MERS coronavirus causes lethal lung disease in hDPP4 receptor knock-in mice. PNAS. Doi:10.1073/pnas. 1619109114., 2017.
  7. Fehr AR*, Channappanavar R*, Perlman S (2017). Middle East Respiratory Syndrome: Emergence of a pathogenic human coronavirus. Annual Reviews Medicine. 68:387-399. doi: 10.1146/annurev-med-051215-031152. * Equal Contribution., 2017.
  8. Channappanavar R and Perlman S (2017). Pathogenic human coronavirus infections: Causes and consequences of cytokine storm and immunopathology. Seminars in Immunopathology. 39 (5) 529-539., 2017.
  9. Wang Y, Sun J, Channappanavar R, Zhao J, Perlman S* and Zhao J* (2017). Simultaneous intranasal/intravascular antibody labelling of CD4+ T Cells in mouse lungs. Bio-protocol. DOI: 21769/BioProtoc.2099., 2017.
  10. Channappanavar R, Fett C, Mack M, Ten Eyck PP, Meyerholz DK and Perlman S (2017). Sex-based differences in susceptibility to SARS-CoV infection in a mouse model. Journal of Immunology. 198(10): 4046-4053.., 2017.
  11. Zhao J, Zhao J, Mangalam AK, Channappanavar R, Fett C, Meyerholz DK, Agnihothram S, Baric RS, David CS, Stanley Perlman (2016). Airway memory CD4 T cells mediate protective immunity against emerging respiratory Coronaviruses. Immunity. 44(6): 1379-91., 2016.
  12. Luke T, Wu H, Zhao J, Channappanavar R, Coleman CM, Jiao Jin-An, Matsushita H, Liu Ye, Postnikova E, Ork BL, Glenn G, Flyer D, Defang G, Raviprakash K, Kochel T, Wang J, Nie W, Smith G, Hensley L, Olinger G, Kuhn J, Holbrook MR, Johnson R, Perlman S, Sullivan E, Frieman M (2016). MERS-CoV human immunoglobulin produced from transchromosomic bovines inhibits MERS-CoV in vivo. Science Translational Medicine. 8(326): 326ra21., 2016.
  13. Zhang N, Channappanavar R, Ma C, Wang L, Tang J, Garron T, Tao X, Tasneem S, Lu L, Tseng CT, Zhou Y, Perlman S, Jiang S, Du L. (2016). Identification of an ideal adjuvant for receptor binding domain-based subunit vaccines against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Cellular and Molecular Immunology. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2015.03., 2016.
  14. Channappanavar R, Fehr AR, Vijay R, Mack M, Zhao J, Meyerholz DK and Perlman S (2016). Dysregulated Type I interferon and inflammatory monocyte-macrophage signaling promotes lethal disease in SARS-CoV infected mice. Cell Host and Microbe. 18: 181-193., 2016.
  15. Fehr AR, Athmer J, Channappanavar R, Phillips JM, Meyerholz DK, Perlman S (2015). The nsp3 macrodomain promotes virulence in mice with coronavirus-induced encephalitis. Journal of Virology. 89 (3): 1523-36., 2015.
  16. Channappanavar R, Lu L, Xia S, Du L, Meyerholz DK, Perlman S, Jiang S. (2015). Protective effect of intranasal regimens containing peptidic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus fusion inhibitor against MERS-CoV infection. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 212 (12): 1894-903., 2015.
  17. Channappanavar R, Fett C, Zhao J, Meyerholz DK and Perlman S. (2014). Virus-specific memory CD8 T cells provide substantial protection from lethal SARS-CoV infection. Journal of Virology. 88(19): 11034-44., 2014.
  18. Trujillo JA, Gras S, Twist KA, Croft NP, Channappanavar R, Rossjohn J, Purcell AW, Perlman S (2014). Structural and functional correlates of enhanced antiviral immunity generated by heteroclitic CD8 T cell epitopes. Journal of Immunology 192:5245-5256., 2014.
  19. Channappanavar R, Zhao J, Perlman S. (2014). T cell-mediated immune response to respiratory coronaviruses. Immunologic research. 59 (1-3): 118-28., 2014.
  20. Trujillo JA, Gras S, Twist KA, Croft NP, Channappanavar R, Rossjohn J, Purcell AW, Perlman S (2014). The cellular redox environment alters antigen presentation. Journal of Biological Chemistry; 289 (40): 27979-91., 2014.
  21. Umeshappa CS, Singh KP, Nanjundappa RH, Channappanavar R, Maan S, Maan NS (2012). Bluetongue virus–23 stimulates inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and nitric oxide production in mononuclear cells of blood and/or regional lymphoid organs. Veterinary Research Communication. 36(4): 245-50. doi: 10.1007/s11259-012-9538-6., 2012.
  22. Channappanavar R, Singh KP, Singh R and Pandey AB. (2012). Enhanced pro-inflammatory cytokine activity during experimental BTV-1 infection in Indian native sheep. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 15; 145 (1-2): 485-92., 2012.
  23. Channappanavar R, Twardy BS, Suvas S. (2012). Blocking of PDL-1 interaction enhances primary and secondary CD8 T cell response to HSV-1 infection. PLoS One. 7(7): e39757., 2012.
  24. Twardy BS, Channappanavar R, Suvas S. (2011). Level of neuropeptide Substance P correlates with the severity of herpetic stromal keratitis. Investigative Ophthalmology Visual Sciences. 4; 52 (12): 8604-13., 2011.
  25. Umeshappa CS, Singh KP, Channappanavar R, Sharma K, Nanjundappa RH, Singh R, Sharma AK, Singh M (2011). Enhanced clinico-pathology, and viral and immune responses following intradermal inoculation of BTV-23 serotype in Indian native sheep. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology. 15; 141 (3-4): 230-8., 2011.
  26. Ingale SL, Singh P, Raina OK, Verma AK. Channappanavar R., Mehra UR. (2010). Interleukin-2 and interleukin-10 gene expression in calves experimentally infected with Fasciola gigantica. Livestock Science. 131 (1): 141-143., 2010.
  27. Channappanavar R, Twardy B S, Pratima K and Suvas S. (2009). Advancing age leads to predominance of inhibitory receptor expressing CD4 T cells. Mechanism of ageing and development. 130(10): 709-12., 2009.