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Joao H.F Pedra

Joao H.F Pedra Ph.D.

Academic Title: Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: Microbiology and Immunology
Location: HSF1 380
Phone: 410-706-7343
Fax: 410-706-6970
Lab: 410-706-3115

Personal History:

Joao Pedra, Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, did his graduate work at Purdue University with Dr. Barry Pittendrigh. Dr. Pedra's postdoctoral studies, with Dr. Erol Fikrig at Yale University School of Medicine, dealt with microbial pathogenesis, immunity and vector transmission of the rickettsial agent Anaplasma phagocytophilum. He joined the University of California at Riverside in 2009 and subsequently relocated to the University of Maryland, Baltimore School of Medicine in 2013. Dr. Pedra is presently working on the mechanisms of pathogenesis, immunity and disease transmission of rickettsial agents.

Research Interests:

The Pedra laboratory studies immunity, pathogenesis and disease transmission by rickettsial agents. Three broad questions are under investigation: i) What are the mechanisms of pathogen immunity in the mammalian host and the arthropod vector? ii) Is innate immunity evolutionarily conserved in disease vectors and mammals? iii) What are the molecular and cellular events that enable pathogens to evade host and vector immunity? We envisage that deciphering these underlying mechanisms may lead to the development of novel strategies that prevent or delay the onset of arthropod-borne diseases.


Dr. Pedra's publications can also be found on PubMed.

Wang X, Shaw DK, Hammond HL, Sutterwala FS, Rayamajhi M, Shirey KA, Perkins DJ, Bonventre JV, Velayutham TS, Evans SM, Rodino KG, VieBrock L, Scanlon KM, Carbonetti NH, Carlyon JA, Miao EA, McBride JW, Kotsyfakis M, Pedra JH. The prostaglandin E2-EP3 receptor axis regulates Anaplasma phagocytophilum-mediated NLRC4 inflammasome activation. PLoS Pathog. 2016 Aug 2;12(8):e1005803.doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005803. PMID:27482714

Shaw DK, Kotsyfakis M, Pedra JHF, For whom the bell tolls (and nods): spit-acular saliva. Curr. Trop. Med. Rep. 2016 3:40-50.

Wang X, Shaw DK, Sakhon OS, Snyder GA, Sundberg EJ, Santambrogio L, Sutterwala FS, Dumler JS, Shirey KA, Perkins DJ, Richard K, Chagas AC, Calvo E, Kopecký J, Kotsyfakis M, Pedra JH The tick protein sialostatin L2 binds to Annexin A2 and inhibits NLRC4-mediated inflammasome activation. Infect Immun. 2016 May 24;84(6):1796-805. doi: 10.1128/IAI.01526-15.

Genomic insights into the parasitic vector of Lyme disease, Ixodes scapularis. Ixodes scapularis International Consortium. Nature Communications, 2016 7:10507 doi: 10.1038/ncomms10507.

Chmelar, Kotál J, Karim S, Kopacek P, Francischetti I, Pedra JHF, Sialomes and mialomes: a systems biology view of tick interactions. Trends in Parasitology, 2016 32: 242-254doi: 10.1016/

Chmelar J, Kotál J, Kopecky J, Pedra JHF, Kotsyfakis M, All for one and one for all on the tick-host battlefield. Trends in Parasitology, 2016 May;32(5):368-77. doi: 10.1016/

Kotál J, Langhansová H, Lieskovská J, Andersen JF, Francischetti IM, Chavakis T, Kopecký J, Pedra JH, Kotsyfakis M, Chmelar J, Modulation of host immunity by tick saliva. J Proteomics. 2015 Jul 17;128:58-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jprot.2015.07.005.

Kotsyfakis M, Kopácek P, Franta Z, Pedra JH, Ribeiro JM, Deep sequencing analysis of the Ixodes ricinus haemocytome.PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Jul 17;9(7):e0003909. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003909.

Chen, G., Wang, X., Severo, M.S., Sakhon, O.S., Sohail, M., Brown, L.J., Sircar, M., Snyder, G.A., Sundberg, E.J., Ulland, T.K., Olivier, A.K., Andersen, J., Zhou, Y., Shi, G-P., Sutterwala, F.S., Kotsyfakis, M., Pedra, J.H.F. The tick salivary protein sialostatin L2 inhibits caspase-1-mediated inflammation during Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection. Infect. Immun. 82(6):2553-2564. 2014. PMID:24686067.

Choy, A., Severo, M.S., Sun, R., Girke, T., Gillespie, J.J., Pedra, JHF. Decoding the ubiquitin-mediated pathway of arthropod disease vectors. PLoS One. 8(10): e78077. 2013. PMID:24205097.

Severo, M.S., Choy, A., Stephens, K.D., Sakhon, O.S., Chen, G., Chung, D.-W. D., Le Roch, K.G., Blaha, G., Pedra, J.H.F. The E3 ubiquitin ligase XIAP restricts Anaplasma phagocytophilum colonization of Ixodes scapularis ticks. J. Infect. Diseases. 208: 1830-1840. 2013. (cover picture). PMID:23901084.

Severo, M.S., Sakhon, O.S., Choy, A., Stephens, K.D., Pedra, J.H.F. The "ubiquitous" reality of vector immunology. Cell. Microbiol. 15:1070-1078. 2013. PMID:23433059.

Chen G, Severo MS, Sohail M, Sakhon OS, Wikel SK, Kotsyfakis M, Pedra JH, Ixodes scapularis saliva mitigates inflammatory cytokine secretion during Anaplasma phagocytophilum stimulation of immune cells. Parasit Vectors. 2012 5:229. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-5-229.

Chen, G., Severo, M.S., Sakhon, O.S., Choy, A., Herron, M.J., Felsheim, R.F., Wiryawan, H., Liao, J., Johns, J.L., Munderloh, U.G., Sutterwala, F.S., Kotsyfakis, M., Pedra, J.H.F. Anaplasma phagocytophilum dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase 1 affects host-derived immunopathology during microbial colonization. Infect. Immun. 80:3194-3205. 2012. PMID:22753375.

Chmelar, J., Calvo, E., Pedra, J.H.F., Francischetti, I.B.M., Kotsyfakis, M., Tick salivary secretion as a source of anti-hemostatics. J. Proteomics 75: 3842-3854. 2012. PMID:22564820.

Pedra, J.H.F., Narasimhan, S., Rendic, D., Deponte, K., Bell-Sakyi, L., Wilson, I.B.H., Fikrig, E. Fucosylation enhances colonization of ticks by Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Cell. Microbiol. 12:1222-1234. 2010. (cover picture). PMID:20331643.

Pedra JH, Sutterwala FS, Sukumaran B, Ogura Y, Qian F, Montgomery RR, Flavell RA, Fikrig E, ASC/PYCARD and caspase-1 regulate the IL-18/IFN¿ axis during Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection. Immunol. 2007 179(7):4783-91.

Links of Interest:

Pedra Laboratory