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College of Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences




Hameeda Sultana, PhD

Assistant Professor (tenure track)
Laboratory of Infectious Diseases
Center for molecular Medicine
Department of Biological Sciences
202M Mills Godwin Building,
Old Dominion University (ODU),
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757)-683-3402 (Voice)
(757)-683-5283 (Fax)
(757)-683-6123 (Lab)
hsultana@odu.edu (email)

Biography

Hameeda Sultana received her Ph.D in the field of actin cytoskeleton and cell signaling from University of Cologne, Germany. She pursued her postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine in Infectious Diseases. Her long-term research goals are to develop therapeutic strategies for treating arthropod-borne diseases.

Degrees

2001-2004: Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.), Medical Biochemistry, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

1997-1999: Master of Science (M.Sc.), Applied Genetics, Bangalore University, Bangalore, India

1994-1997: Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.), Biology, Bangalore University, India.

Positions

  • 2012-present Assistant Professor of Center for Molecular Medicine, Department of Biological Sciences, Old Dominion University (ODU), Norfolk, VA, USA
  • 2012-present Visiting Scientist, Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 2011-2012 Associate Research Scientist (ARS), Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 2009-2011 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Associate, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 2006-2009 Postdoctoral Associate, Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 2005-2006 Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 2004-2005 Research Scientist, Institute for Biochemistry I, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 2001-2004 Ph.D. research assistantship, Institute for Biochemistry I, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • 2000-2001 Project Assistant, Molecular Biology and Genetics Unit, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, India

Honors/Awards

  • 2001-2002 International Ph.D. dissertation fellowship, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Graduiertenkolleg "Genetik zellulärer Systeme" Germany
  • 2006- Anderson Bridge Gap award, Yale Internal Postdoctoral fellowship
  • 2009-2011 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Associate, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
  • 2011-2014 NIH/NIAID, RO3 Research grant award

Research Area

We are interested in the identification and characterization of novel therapeutic agents to treat pan-flaviviral infections including but not limited to Dengue virus serotypes 1-4 and West Nile virus. Treatment for Dengue and West Nile virus is supportive, as effective vaccines and therapeutics has not yet been approved for use in humans. Currently, we are focussed in understanding the signalling events that occur at the interface of host-virus interactions. Our long-term goal is to develop targeted therapeutic candidates or vaccines that can be broadly used as cross-reactive therapy against a panel of flaviviruses. In addition, we are interested to study the molecular mechanisms in the mosquito and tick vectors during flavivirus pathogenesis. Our research in this line would be beneficial to identify novel transmission blocking vaccine(s) against flaviviruses. We also study interaction of Rickettsial pathogens such as Anaplasma phagocytophilum and other microbes with its arthropod vectors. Collectively, our studies may provide evidence for a novel role(s) of mammalian and arthropod molecules during host-pathogen interactions and suggest new strategies to interfere with the life cycle of these pathogens, and perhaps other vector-borne microbes of medical importance.

Teaching

  • Biol405w: Biology seminar course (Fall 2012, Spring 2013)
  • Biol730/830: Emerging Infectious Diseases (Spring 2014)
  • Biol4xx/5xx: Cell signalling in Host-Pathogen interactions (Fall 2014)

Publications

(Peer-reviewed)

Neelakanta G, and Sultana, H. * (2013). The Use of Metagenomic Approaches to Analyze Changes in Microbial Communities. Microbiology Insights 6: 37-48. *Invited Corresponding Author

Sultana, H*., Neelakanta, G., Foellmer, H.G., Montgomery, R.R., Anderson, J.F., Koski, R.A., Medzhitov, R.M., Fikrig, E. (2012).Semaphorin 7A Contributes to West Nile Virus Pathogenesis through TGF-β1/Smad6 Signaling. J Immunol. 189(6):3150-8. Selected as featured article in JI ( http://www.jimmunol.org/content/189/6/2687.full ) and for audio commentary ( http://www.jimmunol.org/site/podcast/ITI2012Sep15.mp3 ). *Corresponding Author

Neelakanta, G., Hudson, A.M., Sultana, H., Cooley, L., and Fikrig, E. (2012). Expression of Ixodes scapularis antifreeze glycoprotein enhances cold tolerence in Drosophila melanogaster. PLoSOne 7(3):e33447

Sultana, H*., Neelakanta, G., Rivero, F., Blau-Wasser, R., Schleicher, M., and Noegel, A.A. (2012). Ectopic expression of Cyclase associated protein CAP restores the streaming and aggregation defects of adenylyl cyclase ACA null cells in Dictyostelium discoideum. BMC Dev Biol 12(1):3. *Corresponding Author

Wang, P*., Arjona, A*., Zhang, Y., Sultana, H., Dai, J., Yang, L., LeBlanc, P. M., Doiron, K., Saleh, M., and Fikrig, E. (2010). Caspase-12 controls West Nile virus infection via the viral RNA receptor RIG-I. Nat Immunol 11, 912-919. *Equal author contribution

Neelakanta, G., Sultana, H., Fish, D., Anderson, J.F., and Fikrig, E. (2010). Anaplasma phagocytophilum induces Ixodes scapularis ticks to express an antifreeze glycoprotein gene that enhances their survival in cold. J Clin Invest 120, 3179-3190. Selected as one of the Science Editor’s choice articles: Science 329, 1442. Commentary published in J Clin Invest 120(9): 3087-3090

Sultana, H., * Neelakanta, G.,* Kantor, F.S., Malawista, S.E., Fish, D., Montgomery, R.R., and Fikrig, E. (2010). Anaplasma phagocytophilum induces actin phosphorylation to selectively regulate gene transcription in Ixodes scapularis ticks. J Exp Med 207, 1727-1743. *Equal author contribution

Sultana, H., Foellmer, H.G., Neelakanta, G., Oliphant, T., Engle, M., Ledizet, M., Krishnan, M.N., Bonafé, N., Anthony, K.G., Marasco, W.A., Kaplan, P., Montogomery, R.R., Diamond, M.S., Koski, R.A., and Fikrig, E. (2009). Fusion loop peptide of the West Nile virus envelope protein is essential for pathogenesis and recognized by a therapeutic cross-reactive human monoclonal antibody. J Immunol 183, 650-660.

Evaluation of this article is published in Future Virology (2009), Vol. 4, Pages 419-422.

Sultana, H., Neelakanta, G., Eichinger, L., Rivero, F., and Noegel, A. A. (2009). Microarray phenotyping places cyclase associated protein CAP at the crossroad of signaling pathways reorganizing the actin cytoskeleton in Dictyostelium. Exp Cell Res 315, 127-140.

Krishnan, M.N., Ng, A., Sukumaran, B., Gilfoy, F.D., Uchil, P.D., Sultana, H., Brass, A.L., Adametz, R., Tsui, M., Qian, F., Montogomery, R.R., Lev, S., Mason, P.W., Koski, R, A., Elledge, S.J., Xavier, R.J., Agaisse, H., and Fikrig, E. (2008). RNA interference screen for human genes associated with West Nile virus infection. Nature 455, 242-247.

Sultana, H., Rivero, F., Blau-Wasser, R., Schwager, S., Balbo, A., Bozzaro, S., Schleicher, M., and Noegel, A. A. (2005). Cyclase-associated protein is essential for the functioning of the endo-lysosomal system and provides a link to the actin cytoskeleton. Traffic 6, 930-946.

Noegel, A. A., Blau-Wasser, R., Sultana, H., Muller, R., Israel, L., Schleicher, M., Patel, H., and Weijer, C. J. (2004). The cyclase-associated protein CAP as regulator of cell polarity and cAMP signaling in Dictyostelium. Mol Biol Cell 15, 934-945.

Book Chapters


Sultana H, and Neelakanta, G. (2013) Vector-borne diseases. In: Recent Developments in Biotechnology, Ed: J.N. Govil, Studium Press LLC, USA (In press)

Neelakanta G, and Sultana, H. * (2013) Bacterial, Protozoan and Viral Life-threatening Diseases. In: Recent Developments in Biotechnology, Ed: J.N. Govil, Studium Press LLC, USA. .* invited Corresponding author (In press)


Sultana, H., and Koleske, A. J. (2007). Regulation of Neuronal Morphogenesis by Abl Family Kinases. In Intracellular Mechanisms for Neuritogenesis, I. de Curtis, ed. (Springer US), pp. 180-194.

Joining our Lab

If interested in our laboratory research, please email Dr. Sultana with your personnel statement, research interest and CV. We always have openings for interested undergraduate students, enthusiastic volunteer research students and postdoctoral fellows with funding. Motivated graduate students can contact, however, positions will be made available depending on the funding.