Runa Kuley is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Life Sciences at Mahindra University. She earned her PhD from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands. During her PhD she characterized the Dutch Q-fever outbreak strains of Coxiella burnetii bacteria, which led to a better understanding of the host-pathogen interactions and elucidated novel virulence mechanisms of the outbreak strains. After receiving her PhD, she joined the Department of Immunology at the University of Washington, Seattle, as a postdoctoral fellow, where she investigated the role of B cell activating factor (BAFF) in generating protective B cell responses during bacterial and viral infections. In addition, she investigated the pathogenic role of BAFF in the development of autoimmune diseases. Her work led to the identification of a crucial link between the innate and B cell adaptive immune systems. In her second postdoctoral fellowship, she joined the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Washington where she explored the role of neutrophils and mitochondria in the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases and examined the clinical utility of neutrophil activation biomarkers in rheumatic disease. Research in her lab focuses on understanding the host-pathogen interactions and deciphering the contributions of immune cell dysregulation in the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases.
- Ph.D.: Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands (Sep 2011 – May 2017)
- M.Sc. Animal Biotechnology: University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad (2009 – 2011)
- B.Sc. Biotechnology: Osmania University, Hyderabad (2006-2009)
2021 - 2020
- Postdoctoral fellow: Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA (July 2020 – Dec 2021)
2017 - 2020
- Postdoctoral fellow: Department of Immunology and Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington, Seattle, USA (June 2017 – June 2020)
- Michailidou D, Duvvuri B, Kuley R, Cuthbertson D, Grayson PC, Khalidi NA, et al. Neutrophil activation in patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis and large-vessel vasculitis. Arthritis Res Ther 2022;24:160.
- Kuley R, Stultz RD, Duvvuri B, Wang T, Fritzler MJ, Hesselstrand R, et al. N-Formyl Methionine Peptide-Mediated Neutrophil Activation in Systemic Sclerosis. Front Immunol 2022;12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.785275
- Kuley R*, Draves KE, Fuller DH, Giltiay NV, Clark EA, Giordano D*. B cell activating factor (BAFF) from neutrophils and dendritic cells is required for protective B cell responses against Salmonella typhimurium infection. PLoS ONE (2021) 16:e0259158. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0259158
- Giordano, D., Kuley, R., Draves, K.E., Roe, K., Holder, U., Giltiay, N.V., and Clark, E.A. (2020). BAFF Produced by Neutrophils and Dendritic Cells Is Regulated Differently and Has Distinct Roles in Antibody Responses and Protective Immunity against West Nile Virus. J. Immunol. 1950 204, 1508–1520.
- Kuley R, Smith HE, Janse I, Harders FL, Baas F, Schijlen E, Nabuurs-Franssen MH, Smits MA, Roest HI, Bossers A. First complete genome sequence of the Dutch veterinary Coxiella burnetii strain NL3262, originating from the largest global Q fever outbreak, and draft genome sequence of its epidemiologically linked chronic human isolate NLhu3345937. Genome Announcements. 2016 Apr 21;4(2). pii: e00245-16. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00245-16.
- Kuley R, Bossers de-Vries, R, Smith HE, Smits M, Jan Roest HI, Bossers A. Major differential gene regulation in Coxiella burnetii between in vivo and in vitro cultivation models. BMC Genomics. 2015;16:953. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-2143-7.
- Kuley R, Smith HE, Frangoulidis D, Smits MA, Jan Roest HI, Bossers A (2015) Cell-free propagation of Coxiella burnetii does not affect its relative virulence. PLoS ONE 10(3): e0121661. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0121661.
- Ammerdorffer A, Kuley R, Jan Roest HI. Physiopathology of Coxiella burnetii infection and host immunologic response. Book Title: The Principles and Practice of Q Fever: The One Health Paradigm. 2017. ISBN: 978-1-53610-868-2
Research in our group is focused on understanding the immune system dysregulation in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Our goal is to decipher the contributions of various immune cells, with emphasis on neutrophils and their derived components, in promoting systemic inflammation and in immune dysregulation such as the development of pathogenic autoreactive B cells in autoimmune diseases. The overarching goals of these projects are to gain mechanistic insights into these processes and identify the therapeutic targets. We are also interested in the identification of neutrophil- and mitochondrial-derived biomarkers of autoimmune diseases for diagnostics purposes. In addition, our lab is interested in studying host-pathogen interactions with a focus on zoonotic diseases (transmitted from animals to humans). Our goal is to understand the biology and virulence mechanisms of the pathogenic agents and associated protective immune responses from the host. We utilize interdisciplinary approaches including microbiology, omics technologies, molecular biology, biochemical methods, and immunology to answer these research questions.