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Path-Immuno - James Versalovic Lab

Houston, Texas

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Path-Immuno - James Versalovic Lab
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Peera Hemarajata, M.D.

Peera Hemarajata, M.D.

Ph.D. Student


Tel: 832-824-8242
Fax: 832-825-1165
E-Mail: hemaraja@bcm.edu
Joined lab: May 2008

Mailing Address:
Texas Children’s Hospital
1102 Bates Avenue
Suite 830, Feigin Center
Houston, TX 77030


Research Interests

Dr. Hemarajata is interested in probiotics mechanisms in Lactobacillus reuteri, especially L. reuteri-mediated immunomodulation. He is studying the functions of potential transcriptional factors and transporters that modulate the production of immunomodulatory compounds secreted from L. reuteri, both in the targeted and global approaches. He is using targeted mutagenesis along with high-throughput technologies and bioinformatic analysis to explore the transcriptomes and proteomes of the bacteria, in order to identify the functions of potential target genes. Genetic modification of these genes might lead to novel strains of probiotics that can be safely administered to effectively prevent or even treat gastrointestinal inflammation in the near future.

Current Projects

  • Transcriptional Regulation of L-histidine Conversion to Histamine by Lactobacillus reuteri as a Mechanism of Immunomodulation
  • Study the role of a hypothetical protein LR0977 in L. reuteri-mediated immunomodulation

Education/Background

  • M.D. (First Class Honor), Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2000 – 2005
  • Graduate student in Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 2007 - present

Publications

  • Hemarajata P and Versalovic J. Intestinal Lactobacillus reuteri: Partners and Beneficial Microbes. 25th Old Herborn University Seminar Monograph. In Press.
  • Thomas CM, Hong T, van Pijkeren JP, Hemarajata P, Trinh DV, Hu W, Britton RA, Kalkum M, Versalovic J. Histamine Derived from Probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri Suppresses TNF via Modulation of PKA and ERK Signaling. PLoS One. 2012;7(2):e31951. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PubMed PMID: 22384111; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3285189. Article
  • Hemarajata P., Medical importance of probiotics. Chulalongkorn Medical Journal, 2008. 52(3): p. 193–204.

Abstracts

  • Hemarajata P, Saulnier DM, Zhang F, Thomas CM, Versalovic J. Transcriptional Regulation of L-histidine Conversion to Histamine by Lactobacillus reuteri as a Mechanism of Immunomodulation. ASM General Meeting 2012. (Accepted)
  • Hemarajata P, Saulnier DM, Zhang F, Thomas CM, Versalovic J. The Possible Regulatory Role of Hypothetical Protein LR0977 in L. reuteri-mediated Immunomodulation, MVM Retreat 2011, Houston, TX, 2011.
  • Hemarajata P, Saulnier DM, Thomas CM, Gao C, Versalovic J. A Putative Folate Transporter in Lactobacillus reuteri is Potentially Involved in Immunomodulation. 2011 Thai-American Physician’s Foundation Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2011. (Won a travel award.)
  • Hemarajata P, Saulnier DM, Zhang F, Thomas CM, Versalovic J. A Putative Folate Transporter in Lactobacillus reuteri is Potentially Involved in Immunomodulation. 3rd Annual “Frontiers in Digestive Diseases” Symposium. Houston, TX, 2011.
  • Hemarajata P, Saulnier DM, Zhang F, Thomas CM, Versalovic J. A Putative Folate Transporter in Lactobacillus reuteri is Potentially Involved in Immunomodulation. 3rd ASM Conference on Beneficial Microbes. Miami, Florida, 2010.
  • Hemarajata P, Spinler JK, Versalovic J. Development of a Himar1 TransposomeTM System to Define the Genetic Basis in Probiotic Mechanisms in Lactobacillus reuteri. 2nd Annual “Frontiers in Digestive Diseases” Symposium. Marriott Medical Center Hotel, Houston, TX, 2010.
  • Hemarajata P, Versalovic J. Lactobacillus reuteri-mediated regulation of peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGLYRP) production by human macrophages. Graduate Student Symposium, The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, 2009.
  • Hemarajata P, Versalovic J. Lactobacillus reuteri-mediated regulation of peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGLYRP) production by human macrophages. Graduate Student Symposium, The Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, 2008.
  • Hemarajata, P., Journal abstract of Emergence of Vaccine-Related Pneumococcal Serotypes as a Cause of Bacteremia by Steenhoff AP et al. Chulalongkorn Medical Journal, 2006. 50(10): p. 753-54.
  • Hemarajata, P., Journal abstract of Effect of introduction of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on drug-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae by Kyaw MH et al. Chulalongkorn Medical Journal, 2006. 50(10): p. 754-55.

Awards

  • Winner of the Award for Outstanding Thai Graduate in Medicine, for having an outstanding overall academic record and an excellent record in four major medical subjects (Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology), having proved to be ethical in the profession, and dedicated to extracurricular activities. The award is given annually to one medical graduate by Somdetch Phra Mahitala Dhibesra Adulyadej Vikrom the Prince Father Foundation, Thailand.
  • Recipient of the Anandamahidol Foundation Scholarship - Medical Department (under the Royal Patronage of His Majesty the King of Thailand), 2007 - current

Links of Interest

  1. Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine
  2. Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
  3. Cell Host & Microbe online
  4. MedScape: Infectious Diseases

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