Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

Anuradha Ray, PhD

Professor of Medicine and Immunology
UPMC Montefiore Hospital - NW628
3459 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-692-2118
Fax: 412-692-2260
Email: raya@pitt.edu
Assistant: Patty Geraci
Assistant Email: geracip@upmc.edu

Bio

Dr. Anuradha Ray received her Ph.D. from Calcutta University in India.  She underwent postdoctoral training at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and at Rockefeller University in New York.  She was on the faculty at Rockefeller University and at Yale University between the years 1990 and 2001 before moving to the University of Pittsburgh. 

Academic and Research Interests

Dr. Ray’s overall research interest is in immune regulation of inflammatory diseases of the lung and the gut.  Early research from her lab led to the identification of NF-kB as a target for glucocorticoid-mediated repression of gene expression and the discovery of GATA-3 as a master regulator of Th2 cells, which promote allergic diseases including asthma. More recent work from her laboratory has identified a key role for Tregs expressing membrane-bound TGF-b with cross-talk with the Notch pathway in regulation of  immune tolerance in the airways.

The primary goal of Dr. Ray’s current research is to understand interactions between dendritic cells (DCs) and T helper cells that either promote diseases such as asthma or suppress disease involving regulatory T cells (Tregs) as observed in the context of immune tolerance. Asthma is a heterogeneous disease with multiple sub-phenotypes.  The most severe form of the disease poorly responds to standard therapy. In this regard, in collaboration with Dr. Sally Wenzel, her laboratory is using samples from mild and severe asthma human subjects to understand the differences in the aberrant immune response in the different forms of asthma and the molecular basis for unresponsiveness to corticosteroids in severe disease.  Using the currently available data generated from analysis of human samples by immunological and RNA sequencing methods, her lab has also established a new model of severe asthma, which mimics many aspects of the human disease.  This model can now be used to test novel therapeutics.  She is also interested in mucosal defense mechanisms against infectious agents.  In collaborative studies between her lab and that of Dr. Prabir Ray, for the first time a pathogen, respiratory syncytial virus, was shown to disable Tregs in early life thereby compromising immune tolerance and increasing the risk for asthma in later life.  Studies in her laboratory employ animal models of disease and human samples, which are analyzed using immunological, molecular, biochemical, physiological and imaging techniques.  Her research has been continuously funded by multiple grants from the NIH.  She is an invited member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology in the Immunology discipline. 

Key Publications

Khare A., Krishnamoorthy, N., Oriss, T.B., Fei, M., Ray, P., Ray A. (2013) Inhaled Antigen Upregulates Retinaldehyde Dehydrogenase In Lung CD103+ But Not Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells To Induce Foxp3 De Novo in CD4+ T cells and Promote Airway Tolerance. Cutting Edge: J. Immunol.191:25-29. 

Krishnamoorthy, N., Khare, A.*, Oriss, T.B.*, Raundhal, M., Morse, C., Yarlagadda, M., Wenzel, S.E., Moore, M.L., Peebles, Jr., R.S., Ray, A., Ray, P, (2012) Early infection with respiratory syncytial virus impairs regulatory T cell function and increases susceptibility to allergic asthma Nature Med. (*equal contribution; co-senior authors) 18:1525-1530. Faculty of 1000 Biology Evaluation-Must Read (8). First study to show that a pathogen can target Tregs to impair immune tolerance.

Ray, A., A. Khare, N. Krishnamoorthy, and P. Ray. (2012). GATA-3. In Encyclopedia of Signalling Molecules. S. Choi, ed. Springer Philadelphia. pp. 760-769.

Fei, M., Bhatia S., Oriss, T.B., Yarlagadda, M., Khare, A., Akira, S., Saijo, S., Iwakura, Y., Fallert- Junecko, B.A., Reinhart, T.,     Foreman, O., Ray, P., Kolls, J.K., Ray, A.  (2011) TNF-α From Inflammatory DCs Regulates Lung IL-17A/IL-5 Levels and Neutrophilia Versus Eosinophilia during Persistent Fungal Infection. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108:5360-5365.

Kreindler, J., Steele, C., Nguyen, N., Pilewski, J.M., Alcorn, J.F., Vyas, Y.M., Shean, A.J., Finelli, P., Blanchard, M., Zeigler, S.F., Logar, A., Hartigan, E., Kurs-Lasky, M., Rocketet, H., Ray, A., Kolls, J.K. (2010) Vitamin D3 attenuates Th2 responses to Aspergillus fumigatus mounted by CD4+ T cells from cystic fibrosis patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis J. Clin. Invest. 120:3242-3254.

Ray A, Khare A, Krishnamoorthy N, Qi Z, and Ray P. (2010) Regulatory T cells in many flavors control asthma. Mucosal Immunol. 3:216-229.

Pillemer BB, Qi Z, Melgert B, Oriss TB, Ray P., Ray, A., (2009) STAT6 activation confers upon T helper cells resistance to suppression by regulatory T cells. J Immunol 183:155-163.

Krishnamoorthy N, Oriss TB, Paglia M, Fei M, Vanhaesebroeck B, Ray A, Ray P. Activation of the c-kit-PI3 kinase Axis Induces the Regulatory Cytokine Interleukin-6 in Dendritic cells Impacting Allergic Immune Responses In the Lung. Nature Medicine 2008; 14:565-573.

Ostroukhova M, Qi Z, Oriss TB, Dixon-McCarthy B, Ray P, Ray A. Treg-Mediated Immunosuppression Involves Activation of the Notch-HESI Axis By Membrane-bound TGF- b.  J. Clin. Invest. 2006; 116:996-1004.

Oriss TB, Ostroukhova M, Seguin-Devaux C, Dixon-McCarthy B, Stolz DB, Watkins SC, Pillemer B, Ray P, Ray A.  Dynamics of Dendritic Cell Phenotype and Interactions with CD4+ T Cells in Airway Inflammation and Tolerance. J. Immunol. 2005; 174: 854-863.

Ostroukhova M, Seguin-Devaux C, Oriss TB, Dixon-McCarthy B, Yang L, Ameredes B, Corcoran TE, Ray A. Tolerance Induced by Inhaled Antigen Involves CD4+ T Cells Expressing Membrane-Bound TGF-v and FOXP3. J. Clin. Invest. 2004; 114:28-38.

PubMed Link

News

Dr. Ray is featured in many articles, including those below:

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Pitt Team Shows How Childhood Viral Infection Leads to Increased Risk For Allergic Asthma as Adult

BBC News Health

Breakthrough Digest Medical News

Drug Discovery & Development

PittMed Winter 2008/2009