Dr. Poluektova's Lab

Welcome to Dr. Larisa Poluektova's Laboratory

Research Goals
Techniques used in the laboratory
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Biographical information on Dr. Poluektova

J. Graham Sharp, PhD
Professor, Genetics, Cell Biology and Anatomy
Radiation and Radiation Oncology, UNMC

Tatiana Bronich, PhD
Parke-Davis Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Director, Nebraska Center for Nanomedicine
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Natalia Osna, PhD
Assistant Professor
GI, Internal Medicine, UNMC
Research Biologist, VAMC

Sam D. Sanderson, PhD
President, Prommune, Inc.
Research Associate Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
College of Pharmacy, UNMC

Charles Wood, PhD
Director, Nebraska Center for Virology
Lewis Lehr/3M
University Professor
School of Biological Sciences
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE

Stephen Dewhurst, PhD
PI, University of Rochester Center for AIDS Research
Vice Dean for Research, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry 

John T. Roehrig, PhD
Distinguished Consultant and Research Microbiologist
Arboviral Diseases Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Sudhir Paul, PhD
Director, Chemical Immunology Research Center
Professor, Department of Pathology
University of Texas - Houston Medical School 

Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD
Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine
Senior Research Career Scientist, VA Palo Alto

Sanjay B. Maggirwar, PhD
Professor and Vice Chair
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Rochester Medical Center

Lena Al-Harthi, PhD
Professor and Associate Chair
Rush University Medical Center
Department of Immunology/Microbiology

Hiroshi Suemizu, PhD
General Manager
Laboratory Animal Research Department
Biomedical Research Laboratory
Central Institute for Experimental Animals, Japan

Mamoru Ito, PhD
Chief investigator
Laboratory of Immunology
Central Institute for Experimental Animals, Japan

And many others, who are interested in hybrid humanized animals for biomedical studies.

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Research Goals:
Together with Santhi Gorantla, we would like to provide biomedical community with environmentally, genetically, and xenotransplantation-modified mice for the study of human immunity, viral infections/co-infections and related comorbidities, drug interactions, and vaccines.

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Humanized mice for neuroAIDS

PI: L Poluektova

Source: NIH/NINDS 5 R21 NS060642-02

The specificity of HIV-1 for human cells precludes virus infection in most mammalian species and limits the use of small animal models for the studies of HIV-1 neuropathogenesis. We will investigate the establishment of a human cell network in the brain of NOD/scid-gc-/- mice transplanted with human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells, their susceptibility to HIV-1, the mechanisms involved in the control of HIV-1 replication and neuronal damage. This model will be the best suited for NeuroAIDS research.

Neural Immunity in HIV Dementia

PI: H Gendelman; Project 3 Co-Leader: L Poluektova

Source: NIH/NINDS 5 P01 NS043985-07
The major goal of this grant is the study of the specific immunologic basis of HAD and linkages between it and other neurodegenerative disorders. This grant brings together in one organizational structure a group of scientists with expertise in areas of neurotoxicology, cellular immunology, neuropathology, neurophysiology, neuropharmacology and molecular biology, who maintain a unified focus on how MP biology affects both neurodegeneration and neuroprotection.

In Vivo Reconstitution Models for NeuroAIDS and Beta-Amyloidosis

PI: T Ikezu; Co-I: L Poluektova

Souce: NIH/NIMH 1 R01 MH083523-01

This study is focused on development of NeuroAIDS and beta-amyloidosis using severely compromised immunodeficient APP transgenic mice reconstituted with HIV-1-infected human immune cells.

Nanodelivery of Active NRTI to the Central Nervous System: Humanized HIV Murine Model

PI: S Vinogradov; Co-I: L Poluektova

Source: NIH/NINDS 1 R21 NS063879-01A1

Nanomedicine and NeuroAIDS

PI: H Gendelman; Co-I: L Poluektova

Source: NIH/NINDS 5 R01 NS36126-13

This research proposes to investigate the biophysiological properties of monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages that influence cell migration both across the blood-brain barrier and within the brain. The central hypothesis is that changes in ion channel expression in monocytes and macrophages following exposure to virus and immune products influences the cell's ability to change its volume and shape, thus influencing cell migration. Such events are pivotal for macrophages to enter the brain and to secrete the toxins that underlie the neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 associated dementia.

Blood Brain Barrier Immune Compromise in NeuroAIDS

PI: G Kanmogne; Co-I: L Poluektova

Source: NIH/NIMH 5 R01 MH081780-02

The major goal of this project is to provide insights into the mechanisms by which cytokines and HIV-1 transduce signals at the blood-brain barrier (BBB), dysregulations that occurs in HIV infection and lead to BBB dysfunction.

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Techniques used in the laboratory:

  • Hematopoietic stem cells and liver stem cells isolation and transplantation
  • Creation of chimeric mice carrying human blood and liver
  • FACS
  • RT-PCR
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Western blot
  • Studies of adaptive immunity on humanized mice

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Sidra Akhter
Research Technician





Natasha Fields
Research Technologist I





Jaclyn Hollinger
Research Technologist





Edward Makarov
Research Technoligist


In Memory - Jennifer Finke-Dwyer (October 19, 1978 - June 21, 2009), Research Technician II

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Return to Dr. Poluektova's home page 
Biographical information on Dr. Poluektova