Rajender Deora, PhD
Rajendar Deora, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Dr. Deora received a M.Sc. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Calcutta. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1997 with a Ph.D. in Microbiology. Dr. Deora joined WFUHS as an Assistant professor in 2003 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010.
SYNOPSIS OF AREA OF INTEREST: Virulence mechanisms of Bacterial pathogens; Molecular determinants of Biofilm development; Effectiveness of small molecules on the colonization of and biofilm formation in the murine respiratory tract.
DETAILED AREA OF INTEREST: Our laboratory studies the virulence mechanisms of the human pathogen, Bordetella pertussis and the animal pathogen Bordetella bronchiseptica. We have developed novel concepts which highlight the multi-faceted pathogenic strategies of Bordetella. We have described the existence of co-operativity in adherence mechanisms of Bordetella to respiratory epithelium. This work demonstrated that a combinatorial action of two proteins BipA and BcfA ensures efficient survival of Bordetella in mammalian host. We have demonstrated the remarkable immunogenicity and protective ability of a monovalent vaccine consisting of the outermembrane protein BcfA. Immunization of mice with BcfA results in reduced pathology and bacterial clearance from the lungs and trachea. Vaccination with BcfA induces protective opsonic antibodies and generates a Th1 type immune response. This study represents a new vaccine strategy applicable to multiple Bordetella species. We are currently engaged in a collaborative project to test the efficacy of BcfA-based vaccine in dogs and against the human pathogen Bordetella pertussis.
Our laboratory has identified a novel virulence strategy where Bordetella persists in the mouse respiratory tract as sessile communities known as biofilms. We have developed unique animal models that mimic the in vitro biofilm developmental pathways observed for many bacteria. We have proposed that nasopharyngeal biofilms in humans represent the carrier state of Bordetella. Finally we are exploring the effectiveness of new class of small-molecules to prevent/disrupt bacterial biofilmsand aim to develop therapeutic interventions against biofilm infection.