Assistant Professor

Pediatrics – Developmental Nutrition

Ph.D., University of Nevada Las Vegas
M.S., Osmania University; Hyderabad, India
B.S., Osmania University; Hyderabad, India
Office: 501-364-2419 – 15 Children’s Way – Room 2052
FAX: 501-364-2403

Clinical & Research Interests

Nutrition project

Breastfeeding is known to impart a variety of positive effects on offspring health, including immune system development, and to lower risk for a variety of diseases. Yet, the exact mechanisms underlying these outcomes are not fully known. Research in the Nutritional Immunology group is centered around understanding the early-life events that program gut development, gut microbe ecology and immune function. It is well known that dietary factors in breast milk and formulas can alter gut microbiota composition. However, does the microbiota alone shape gut development and subsequent immune function in infants? And, do breast-fed children have better immune responses to infections? In order to understand and address these questions, the ACNC has developed a piglet model of infant formula and breast milk feeding. Preliminary data from these studies suggest that gastrointestinal development and gut associated lymphoid tissue are more highly developed with breast milk. Ongoing research seeks to determine the effects of early diet on GI development and function and to what extent these effects are secondary to differences in the gut microbiota, and also immune function at the systemic level. Our research is important because it: (1) Contributes to the scientific evidence base related to breastfeeding, and (2) Is helping to understand the fundamental biology of the infant intestinal and immune system development, and how gut bacteria influence these processes. Ultimately, these efforts can lead to improved infant formula by adding components that are unique to breast milk or that modify the gut microbiota to help boost the immune system in infants.

Pathogen Research

My second area of research, conducted in connection with ACNC partner Arkansas Children’s Research Institute (ACRI), focuses on health-oriented basic and translational studies of immunity. The goals of my study are to understand the factors that predispose patients toward pathologic immune responses following Chlamydia oral and genital infections, to develop biomarkers of disease severity following sexually transmitted Chlamydia infections, and to translate this research into clinically-relevant prevention and intervention strategies for sexually-transmitted infections.

Selected Publications

Laxmi Yeruva, Beau J.Toy, Robert C. Wang, Keon J. Pierre, Stephen W. Carper, and J. Abiodun Elegbede. Jasmonates Induce Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lines. Exp Lung Res. 2006; 32(10): 499-516.

Laxmi Yeruva, Keon J. Pierre, Abiodun Elegbede, Robert C. Wang, and Stephen W. Carper. Perillyl alcohol and Perillic acid induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in non small cell lung cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2007; 257: 216-226.

Laxmi Yeruva, Abiodun Elegbede and Stephen W. Carper. Methyl jasmonate induces apoptosis via tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 in human breast cancer cell lines Anticancer Drugs. 2008; 8: 766-776.

Laxmi Yeruva, Keon J. Pierre, Madhavi Bathina, Abiodun Elegbede, and Stephen W. Carper. Delayed cytotoxic effects of methyl jasmonate and cis-jasmone induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Cancer Invest. 2008; 9: 890-899.

Laxmi Yeruva, Abiodun Elegbede and Stephen W. Carper. Perillyl alcohol and methyl jasmonate sensitize breast cancer cells to cisplatin via TNFR1 Anticancer Drugs. 2010; 1: 1-9.

Dennis Matlock, Laxmi Yeruva, Alicia K. Byrd, Samuel G. Mackintosh, Clint Langston, Carrie Brown, Craig Cameron, Christopher J. Fischer, Kevin D. Raney. Investigation of translocation, DNA unwinding, and protein displacement by NS3h, the helicase domain from the Hepatitis C Virus helicase. Biochemistry. 2010; 49 (10): 2097-2109.

Uma M. Nagarajan, James D. Sikes, Laxmi Yeruva, and Daniel Prantner. Significant Role of IL-1 Signaling, but Limited Role of Inflammasome Activation, in Oviduct Pathology during Chlamydia muridarum Genital Infection. J Immunol. 2012 Feb 13.

Xiaoping He, Alicia K. Byrd, Mi-Kyung Yun, Charles W. Pemble IV, David Harrison, Laxmi Yeruva, Christopher Dahl, Kenneth N. Kreuzer, Kevin D. Raney, and Stephen W. White. The T4 Phage SF1B Helicase Dda Is Structurally Optimized to Perform DNA Strand Separation. Structure. 2012 Jul 3; 20(7):1189-200.

Laxmi Yeruva, Nicole Spencer, Anne Bowlin, Yin Wang, and Roger Rank. Chlamydial infection of the gastrointestinal tract: a reservoir for persistent infection. Pathog Dis. 2013 Aug; 68(3):88-95.

Laxmi Yeruva Stepan Melnyk, Nicole Spencer, Anne Bowlin and Rank G Roger. Differential susceptibility to azithromycin treatment of chlamydial infection in the gastrointestinal tract and cervix. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2013 Dec;57(12):6290-4

Roger G. Rank and Laxmi Yeruva. Chlamydial gastrointestinal infection – An old paradigm revisited and its relevance to “persistence” in human genital infections. Infect Immun. 2014 Apr; 82 (4):1362-71.

Laxmi Yeruva, Garry S. A. Myers, Nicole Spencer, Heather Huot Creasy, Nancy E. Adams, Anthony T. Maurelli , Grant R. McChesney , Jacques Ravel, Anne Bowlin, and Roger G. Rank Early MicroRNA Expression Profile as a Prognostic Biomarker for the Development of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease in a Mouse Model of Chlamydial Genital Infection. MBio 2014 Jun 24, e01241-14.

Yugen Zhang, Laxmi Yeruva, Anthony Marinov, Theodor Danciu, Priscilla B. Wyrick, Raoger G Rank, Vladimir Lupashin and Uma M. Nagarajan. The DNA sensor-cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) is essential for induction of IFN-beta during chlamydia trachomatis infection. J Immunol. 2014 Jul 28.

Deana K. Jasper, Ira M. Sigar, Justin H. Schripsema, Carlyn K. Sainvil, Christopher L. Smith, Laxmi Yeruva, Roger G. Rank, Ashlesh K. Murthy, Jared R. Widder, and Kyle H. Ramsey. Genomic variant representation in a Chlamydia population is dynamic and adaptive with dependence on in vitro and in vivo Pathog Dis. 2015 Feb;73(1):1-12

Andrew P. Craig, Fabian Y.S. Kong, Laxmi Yeruva, Jane S. Hocking, Roger G. Rank, David P. Wilson, Basil Donovan. Is it time to switch to doxycycline from azithromycin for treating genital chlamydial infections? Modelling the impact of autoinoculation from the gastrointestinal tract to the genital tract. BMC Infectious disease. April 2015 15(1):200.

Roger G. Rank, Laxmi Yeruva. An alternative scenario to explain rectal positivity in Chlamydia-infected individuals. Clin Infect Dis. May 2015; 60(10):1585-6.

Laxmi Yeruva, Anne K. Bowlin, Nicole Spencer, Anthony T. Maurelli, Roger G. Rank. Chlamydial variants differ in their ability to ascend the genital tract in the guinea pig model of chlamydial genital infection. Infect Immun 2015 May 26 pii: IAI.00532-15.

Nicole M Lowden, Laxmi Yeruva, Cayla M Johnson, Anne K Bowlin and Derek J Fisher. Use of aminoglycoside 3′ adenyltransferase as a selection marker for Chlamydia trachomatis intron-mutagenesis and in vivo intron stability BMC Res Notes, Oct 2015; 8(1):570.

Laxmi Yeruva, Nicole E. Spencer, Manish K. Saraf, Leah Hennings, Anne K. Bowlin, Mario A. Cleves, Kelly Mercer, Sree V. Chintapalli, Kartik Shankar, Roger G. Rank, Thomas M. Badger, and Martin J. J. Ronis. Formula diet alters small intestine morphology, microbial abundance and reduces VE-cadherin and IL-10 expression in neonatal porcine model. BMC Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar 22; 16 (1):40.

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography