Dr. Vida Dennis

Dr. Vida A. Dennis
Associate Professor of Microbiology
Dept. of Biological Sciences
E-mailvdennis@alasu.edu
Phone: 334-229-8447
 

 

Dr. Vida A. Dennis obtained her B.S. degree in Zoology from the University of Liberia, Monrovia, Liberia and her M.A degree from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI. She obtained a Ph.D. in Parasitology (with emphasis in Immunology) from the University of Georgia, Athens, GA and subsequently post-doctoral training in parasite immunology at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.

Dr. Dennis’ research focuses on Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, and Chlamydia trachomatis, the leading cause of bacteria sexually transmitted infections (STIs) worldwide. Lyme disease research includes regulation of inflammation in resistance and susceptible mouse strains, and how interleukin-10 (IL-10) and suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins may be involved in this phenomenon. For C. trachomatis, our emphasis is control of inflammation using immunomodulatory agents alone and combined with nanoparticles. C. trachomatis vaccine studies include the use of C. trachomatis recombinant proteins and synthetic peptides as vaccine candidates coupled with a multifaceted nanotechnology approach for vaccine development in the mouse model. Several techniques post-docs and graduate students employ for these projects include cloning/protein expression, molecular immunology, microarray, PCR array, Taqman qRT-PCR, Multiplex and single ELISAs, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, zetasizer and zeta potential. Our goal is to develop immunotherapeutic agents to control inflammation in Lyme disease and Chlamydia, and development of new vaccine delivery systems to enhance systemic/mucosal immunity against Chlamydia.

Some recent research publications:
 

  • Different patterns of expression and of IL-10 modulation of pro-inflammatory mediators from macrophages of Lyme Disease-resistant and disease-susceptible mice. 2012. Aarti Gautam, Saurabh Dixit, Monica Embers, Rajeev Gautam, Mario T. Philipp1, Shree R. Singh, Lisa Morici, and Vida A. Dennis. PLOS ONE (in press)
  • Abebayehu N. Yilma, Shree R. Singh, Stacie J. Fairley, Murtada A. Taha, and Vida A. Dennis. 2012. The anti-inflammatory cytokine, interleukin-10, inhibits inflammatory mediators in human epithelial cells and mouse macrophages exposed to live and UV-inactivated Chlamydia trachomatis. Mediators of Inflammation Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 520174. 10 pages.
  • Biodegradable PLGA85/15 nanoparticles as a delivery vehicle for Chlamydia trachomatis recombinant MOMP-187 peptide. 2012. Murtada A. Taha, Shree R. Singh, Vida A. Dennis. Nanotechnology 23 2012 Aug 17;23(32):325101.
  • Murtada Taha, Shree R. Singh, Courtney Moore, Ronald Agee and Vida A. Dennis. 2012. Encapsulation and characterization of BSA in PLA-PEG nanoparticles as a model for Chlamydia trachomatis rMOMP-278 protein nanovaccine delivery system. TechConnect World Conference (NSTI), 2012, June 18-21, 2012, Santa Clara, CA.
  • Abebayehu N. Yilma, Shree R. Singh, Stacie J. Fairley and Vida A. Dennis. 2012. Smaller sizes of Ag-PVP nanoparticles control inflammatory responses, and reduce CD80 and CD86 expression levels in macrophages infected with Chlamydia trachomatis. TechConnect World Conference (NSTI) Proceedings 2012, June 18-21, 2012, Santa Clara, CA.
  • Murtada A. Taha, Kara Hulett, Ronald Agee, Shreekumar R. Pillai, Shree R. Singh, Vida A. Dennis. 2011. A peptide containing T-cell epitopes of the major outer membrane protein of Chlamydia trachomatis without adjuvant induces systemic and mucosal antibody responses. World Journal of Vaccine 1 (4):138-147.
  • Gautam A, Dixit S, Philipp MT, Singh SR, Morici LA, Kaushal D, Dennis VA. 2011. Interleukin-10 alters effector functions of multiple genes induced by Borrelia burgdorferi in macrophages to regulate Lyme disease inflammation. Infect Immun. Dec; 79(12):4876-92.
  • Yilma, A. N., Singh, S. R., Taha, M. A., Fairley, S. J., and Dennis, V. A. (2011). Evidence of the anti-inflammatory effect of silver-polyvinyl pyrrolidone nanoparticles (Ag-PVP) in Chlamydia trachomatis infected macrophage and HeLa cells. TechConnect World Conference (NSTI) Proceedings 2011.
  • Murtada Taha, Shree R. Singh, Chelsea Butler, Elijah Nyairo, Vida A. Dennis. 2011. Characterization of rMOMP-187 peptide encapsulated in PLGA 50:50 nanoparticles. Nanotech TechConnect World Conference (NSTI) Proceedings 2011.
  • Praseetha Subbarayan, Vida A. Dennis, Carnella Lee, Elijah Nyairo and Shree R. Singh. 2011. Encapsulation and in vitro characterization of protein in PLGA-chitosan nanoparticles for efficient drug delivery. TechConnect World Conference (NSTI) Proceedings 2011.
  • Dennis VA, Dixit S, O'Brien SM, Alvarez X, Pahar B, Philipp MT. 2009. Live Borrelia burgdorferi spirochetes elicit inflammatory mediators from human monocytes via the Toll-like receptor signaling pathway. Infect Immunity. 77(3):1238-45.
  • Dennis, V.A., Jefferson, A., Singh, S. R., Ganapamo, F. and Philipp, M. T. 2006. Interleukin-10 anti-inflammatory response to Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease: a possible role for suppressors of cytokine signaling 1 and 3. Infect. Immunity (74 (10):5780-5789.
  • Singh, S. R., Hulett, K., Pillai, S. R., Dennis, V. A., Oh, M. K., and Scissum-Gunn, K. 2006. Mucosal immunization with recombinant MOMP genetically linked with modified cholera toxin confers protection against Chlamydia trachomatis infection. Vaccine. 24:1213-1224.
  • Dennis, V.A., Jefferson, A., Singh, S. R., Ganapamo, F. and Philipp, M. T. 2006. Interleukin-10 anti-inflammatory response to Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease: a possible role for suppressors of cytokine signaling 1 and 3. Infection and Immunity (74 (10):5780-5789.