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Erik P. Lillehoj

Erik P. Lillehoj Ph.D.

Academic Title: Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: Pediatrics
Location: 655 W. Baltimore St., BRB 13-029
Phone: (410) 706-3872
Fax: (410) 706-0020

Personal History:

  • 1972-1976, B.S., Microbiology/Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 1976-1981, Ph.D., Immunology. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
  • 1981-1986, Post-doctoral Fellow, Immunogenetics, NIAID, NIH, Bethesda, MD
  • 1986-1988, Research Scientist, Frederick Cancer Research Facility, Frederick, MD
  • 1988-1992, Assistant Director, Cambridge Biotech Corp., Rockville, MD
  • 1992-2000, Director of Research, Dexall Biomedical Labs, Gaithersburg, MD
  • 2000-2005, Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, UMB School of Pharmacy
  • 2001-present, Graduate Faculty, UMB Graduate School
  • 2005-2008, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UMB School of Medicine
  • 2008-present, Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, UMB School of Medicine

Research Interests:

Our laboratory studies the interactions of microbial pathogens with the respiratory and gastrointestinal mucosal surfaces. Two model systems are currently being explored: (1) expression, structure, and function of MUC1 mucin, and (2) intestinal immunity against coccidiosis.

Expression, structure, and function of MUC1 mucin by respiratory and gastric epithelial cells. Mucin-1 (MUC1) belongs to a family of mucin glycoproteins that are divided into secreted and membrane-bound forms. MUC1 is a membrane mucin expressed by mucosal epithelial cells, and overexpressed by most carcinomas. Unlike other membrane mucins, the cytoplasmic region of MUC1 contains multiple sites of serine and tyrosine phosphorylation that are associated with a wide array of cellular processes, including the host response to pathogenic microorganisms, cell growth, cell differentiation, intercellular adhesion, and apoptosis. In collaboration with scientists at Temple University School of Medicine and the University of Maryland School of Medicine, we are currently investigating the role of MUC1 in: (1) Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection, (2) Helicobacter pylori gastric infection, (3) intracellular signal transduction, and (4) epithelial injury, repair, and restitution. Through these studies, we hope to glean new information relevant to understanding the pathogenesis of lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis and gastric disorders such as peptic ulcer disease and stomach cancer.

Intestinal immunity against coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease caused by Eimeria spp. that impairs the feed utilization and growth of commercial poultry. Anti-coccidial antibiotics are currently used to control outbreaks of infection, but parasite drug resistance and regulatory restrictions on antibiotic use in livestock have spawned an interest in alternative strategies for disease control. In collaboration with scientists at the USDA, our laboratories are identifying immunogenic components of Eimeria with the goal of developing coccidiosis vaccines. In addition, we are isolating and characterizing cytokines and chemokines as vaccine adjuvants.

A third project in our laboratory is investigating the role of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in the pathogenesis of acute onset schizophrenia and bipolar disease in collaboration with Dr. Robert H. Yolken, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. We have discovered that antibodies to exogenous simian retroviruses are present at significantly greater frequency in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder compared with matched controls. We hypothesize that these antibodies are generated against endogenous retroviruses and can be detected by cross-reaction with exogenous viruses.

Current Grant Support:

Diagnostic Potential of Retrovirus Envelope Glycoproteins in Acute Onset Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder.
Stanley Medical Research Institute
Role: PI

Regulation of MUC1 Mucin During Airway Inflammation.
Role: Co-investigator

MUC1 Ectodomain and Peptides Thereof for Treatment of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Infections
UMVentures Seed Grant
Role: PI


Search My Publications in Pub Med

Most Recent Publications

del Cacho, E., Gallegoa, M., Lillehoj, H. S., Quileza, J., Lillehoj, E. P., Ramo, A., and Sánchez-Acedo, C. 2014. IL-17A regulates Eimeria tenella schizont maturation and migration in avian coccidiosis. Vet. Res. 45:25.

Guang W, Czinn SJ, Blanchard TG, Kim KC, Lillehoj EP. 2014. Genetic regulation of MUC1 expression by Helicobacter pylori in gastric cancer cells. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 445:145-150.

Lee, S. H., Lillehoj, H. S. #, Jeong, M. S., Xu, S., Kim, J. B., Park, H. J., Lillehoj, E. P., and Bravo, D. M. 2014. Effect of in ovo injection with selenium on immune and antioxidant responses during experimental necrotic enteritis in broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 93:113-121.

Lee, C., Liu, A., Miranda-Ribera, A., Hyun, S. W., Lillehoj, E. P., Cross, A. S., Passaniti, A., Grimm, P. R., Kim, B. Y., Welling, P. A., Madri, J. A., DeLisser, H. M., and Goldblum, S. E. 2014. NEU1 sialidase regulates the sialylation state of CD31 and disrupts CD31-driven capillary-like tube formation in human lung microvascular endothelia. J. Biol. Chem. 289:9121-9135.

Lillehoj, E, P., Hyun, S. W., Feng, C., Zhang, L., Liu, A., Guang, W., Nguyen, C., Sun, W., Luzina, I. G., Webb, T. J., Atamas, S. P., Passaniti, A., Twaddell, W. S., Puché, A. C., Wang, L. W., Cross, A. S., and Goldblum, S. A. 2014. Human airway epithelia express catalytically active NEU3 sialidase. Am. J. Physiol. Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol. 306:L876-L886.

Kato, K., Lillehoj, E. P., and Kim, K. C. 2014. MUC1 regulates epithelial inflammation and apoptosis by polyI:C through inhibition of Toll/IL-1 receptor-domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-ß (TRIF) recruitment to Toll-like receptor 3. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 51:446-454.

Lillehoj, H. S., Jang, S. I., Lee, S. H., and Lillehoj, E. P. 2014. Avian coccidiosis as a prototype intestinal disease: Recent advances in host protective immunity and novel disease control strategies. In: Intestinal Health. Key to Maximise Growth Performance in Livestock. Niewold, T. (ed.), pp. 71-115, Wageningen Academic Publishers, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Dickerson, F., Katsafanas, E., Schweinfurth, L. A. B., Savage, C. L. G., Stallings, C., Origoni, A., Khushalani, S., Lillehoj, E. P., and Yolken, R. 2015. Immune alterations in acute bipolar depression. Acta Psychiatr. Scand. 132:204-210.

Lillehoj, E. P., Hyun, S. W., Liu, A., Guang, W., Luzina, I. G., Atamas, S. P., Kim, C. K., and Goldblum, S. E. 2015. NEU1 sialidase regulates membrane-tethered mucin (MUC1) ectodomain adhesiveness for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and decoy receptor release. J. Biol. Chem. 290:18316-18331.

Kim, J. E., Lillehoj, H. S.#, Hong, Y. H., Kim, G. B., Lee, S. H., Lillehoj, E. P.,and Bravo, D. M. 2015. Dietary Capsicum and Curcuma longa oleoresins increase intestinal microbiome and necrotic enteritis in three commercial broiler breeds. Res. Vet. Sci. 102:150-158.

Kato, K., Uchino, R., Lillehoj, E. P., Knox, K., Lin, Y., and Kim, K. C. 2015 Membrane-tethered MUC1 mucin counter-regulates the phagocytic activity of macrophages. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol., in press.

Kato, K., Lillehoj, E. P., and Kim, K. C. 2015. Pseudomonas aeruginosa stimulates tyrosine phosphorylation of and TLR5 association with the MUC1 cytoplamic tail through EGFR activation. Inflamm. Res., in press.