Dr. Poluektova's Laboratory

Research Goals
Techniques used in the lab
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Dr. Poluektova's biographical information

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.

HIV-1 pathogenesis, therapeutics and vaccines, humanized mice for translational research, stem cell transplantation. The long range goals are to development small animal models to study the pathogenesis of human-specific viral co-infection - HIV-1 and HCV/HBV.


Howard E. Gendelman, MD
Professor and Chair
Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience

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

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

Stephen Dewhurst, PhD
Dean's Professor and Chair of Microbiology & Immunology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Vice Dean for Research, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

Sudhir Paul, PhD
Covalent Bioscience
Houston, Texas

Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD
Professor, Stanford University School of Medicine
Associate Director, VA Palo Alto Health Care Systems

Sanjay B. Maggirwar, PhD
Chair, Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine
George Washington University

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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Center for Humanized Mice
PI: L. Poluektova
Source:  NIH/OD 5R24OD018546
Center will generate new strains of mice for humanization of blood and liver, and distribute among academic collaborators for acceleration of vaccine and drug development research.

Humanized Mice as a Tool to Monitor of HIV Brain Reservoirs and Effects of Substance Abuse
PI: L. Poluektova
Source: NIH/NIDA  5R21DA041018
Proposes to adapt a humanized mouse model to validate the role of astrocytes and microglia as HIV reservoir s in the brain. Use of the human IL-34-expressing mouse as a driver for enhanced development and engraftment of human neural progenitor cells into glial and innate human immune cells provides the potential for development of a functional model with which to study HIV reservoirs in the brain and the effect of drugs of abuse.

Extracellular vesicles as the vehicles for promoting liver injury induced by HIV and alcohol
PI: L. Poluektova
Source: NIAAA R01AA027189
Liver injury, which is characteristic of HIV-infection, is the second-leading cause of mortality in HIV-infected patients. The rapid progression of liver fibrosis is frequently associated with hepatitis B and C co-infections, but the mechanisms are not clear yet. Here, we examine how hepatitis C co-infection with HIV stress hepatocytes to secrete extracellular vesicles, which in turn initiate the cross-talk between liver parenchymal and nonparenchymal cells, thereby promoting inflammation and fibrosis development.

Multiple PI: L. Poluektova and H. Gendelman
Source NIH/NIA R01 AG043540
This proposal seeks to generate a solid understanding of the abilities to sustain long-acting nanoformulated antiretroviral therapies during aging.  The work rests in the idea that these therapies that are given systemically and every week or month will not only be tolerated better for improving patient compliance but lead to reduced systemic toxicities and viral resistance patterns.  The work entails an aggressive evaluation of dosing, immune senesence, tolerance and systemic effects of the nanoformulations.  The work will be done in tandem with Dr. Larisa Poluektova and her laboratory in evaluation of specific CNS patterns for viral restriction and potential eradication employing current humanized mouse models and newer ones that are being developed where human glial cells are transplanted to a mouse brain.

NanoART Manufacture, Delivery and Pharmacokinetics for Optimizing Drug Adherence
PI: H. Gendelman; Core Leader: L. Poluektova
This is an integrative cross approach translational and multi-investigator program grant seeking to develop nanoformulated antiretroviral drug therapy from the bench to the patient.

Platelet mediated neuroinflammatory response to HIV-1
PI: S. Maggirwa (U. Rochester); Co-I: L.  Poluektova
Source: NIH/NINDS R01NS066801
To test whether activation of peripheral platelets by HIV-1 elicits abnormal effects on brain microvascular endothelial cells, thereby altering blood-brain barrier integrity and exacerbating inflammation in the CNS.

Combined Molecular Excision Therapy (CMET) for Eliminating HIV-1
PI: H.E. Gendelman
Source: NIH/NIMH R01MH115860 

Small animal model for HBV/HIV Studies: Recapitulation of coinfection pathogenesis and treatment
Co-PI: L. Poluektova and C. Gurumurthy
Source: NIH/NIAID R01 AI147725-01
The application proposes to develop a novel mouse model dually transplanted with human hepatocytes and human immune cells that can be used to study Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV co-infection

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Techniques used in laboratory

Visit UNMC Translational Mouse Model Core Facility.


Lili Guo
Research Technologist II
Lili Guo
Edward Makarov
Research Technologist II
Saumi Mathews, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Weimin Wang
Research Technologist II
Weimin Wang

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