Robin R. Ingalls, MD

The ability of innate immune system to sense invasion by a pathogenic organism and respond appropriately in order to control infection is paramount to survival. To that end, an array of receptors and binding proteins has evolved as part of the innate immune system to detect invading microorganisms. My laboratory is interested in Toll-like receptors and the intracellular signaling pathways that contribute to the innate recognition of Gram-negative bacteria, with a particular focus on mucosal immunity. We have a variety of in vitro and in vivo models in the laboratory to address the interaction of Neisseria and Chlamydia species with epithelial cells and macrophages.

One major focus of the laboratory is exploring the role of TLR2 in host defense against C. trachomatis. Previous work in our laboratory established a role for TLR2 in cellular responses to chlamydia species. In our recent in vivo work we have observed that TLR2 plays a protective role in the lung but a detrimental role in the genital tract during infected of mice with the mouse pathogen, C. muridarum. The goal of this project is to determine the specific cell types that are responsible for this difference. As part of this project, we are also trying to identify the specific ligands in chlamydia that are important for TLR2-dependent and independent cell activation, and characterize TLR2 signaling mutant strains of chlamydia that lack the cryptic plasmid.

A second focus of the laboratory is exploring the role TLRs and NLRs in host defense against N. gonorrhoeae. Previous work in our laboratory established a role for TLR4 and TLR2 in cellular responses to Neisseria species in vitro and we have recently completed in vitro studies that also demonstrate that gonorrhea can activate Nod receptors. Our ongoing in vivo studies in TLR4 mutant mice demonstrate that TLR4 is important for early bacterial clearance and neutrophil function, and we plan to complete studies in TLR2 and Nod1/2 mutant mice when back breeding is complete.

The third focus of the laboratory relates to the role of innate immunity on regulating acute and chronic inflammation associated with the respiratory pathogen Chlamydophila pneumoniae. We are in the process of defining the specific receptors and ligands that are responsible for IL-1b activation during infection, and will investigate the role of IL-1b in C. pneumoniae-induced atherosclerosis.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences

Boston University School of Medicine

Active Staff Privileges
Boston Medical Center
Infectious Diseases

08/01/2010 - 07/31/2017 (PI of Sub-Project / SP)
PI: Caroline A. Genco, PhD
NIH/National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases

Placental Defenses against Zika Virus Infection
07/25/2017 - 06/30/2019 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University NIH-NIAID

Role of Chlamydia Species in Pre-term Birth & Placental Dysfunction
07/01/2012 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
4R01 AI101088-05

Role of Chlamydia Species in Pre-term Birth & Placental Dysfunction
07/01/2012 - 06/30/2018 (PI)
5R01 AI101088-04

Role of complement activation in the development of HIV-associated metabolic syndrome
07/01/2016 - 06/30/2017 (PI)
Miriam Hospital NIH-NIAID

Role of Chlamydia Species in Preterm Birth and Placental Dysfunction (Supplement)
07/01/2012 - 06/30/2017 (PI)

Project 2 - Innate Immune Defenses Against Acute and Chronic Infection with C. Penumoniae
08/01/2010 - 06/30/2015 (PI)
Trustees of Boston University NIH-NIAID

Innate and Adaptive Immunity in Experimental and Human Gonoccocal Infection
09/25/2009 - 08/31/2014 (PI)

Interaction of Chalmydia with Innate Immune Receptors
03/15/2005 - 12/31/2012 (PI)
5 R01 AI64749-05

Innate Immune Receptors in Host Responses to Neisseria
08/01/2005 - 01/31/2011 (PI)
5R01 AI046613-10

R344 5R01Dk48236-03 7/31/
08/01/2005 - 01/31/2010 (PI)
5 R01DK48236-03

Showing 10 of 13 results. Show All Results

Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2018 Nature and Predictors of Impaired Harm Avoidance in Polysubstance Abuse 1R21DA045148-01A1
2017 Mechanisms of Extinction Memory Enhancement for Cocaine Addiction Treatment 1R01DA043454-01A1
2016 Role of Chlamydia Species in Preterm Birth and Placental Dysfunction 4R01AI101088-05 1
2015 Function-specific serotonergic neurons, discrete brain targets, and addiction 5R21DA036056-02
2014 Function-specific serotonergic neurons, discrete brain targets, and addiction 1R21DA036056-01A1
2014 Role of Chlamydia Species in Preterm Birth and Placental Dysfunction 5R01AI101088-03 1
2014 Defenses against Acute Chronic Infection with C pneumoniae 5P01AI078894-05-7795 22
2013 Role of Chlamydia Species in Preterm Birth and Placental Dysfunction 5R01AI101088-02 1
2013 Role of Chlamydia Species in Preterm Birth and Placental Dysfunction 3R01AI101088-02S1 1
2013 Cognitive Aspects of Addiction-Related Behavior 3R01DA011716-14S1 33
Showing 10 of 75 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Ray TD, Mekasha S, Liang Y, Lu B, Ram S, Ingalls RR. Species-specific differences in regulation of macrophage inflammation by the C3a-C3a receptor axis. Innate Immun. 2018 01; 24(1):66-78. PMID: 29297237.
  2. Dutta Ray T, Mekasha S, Liang Y, Lu B, Ram S, Ingalls RR. Editor's Choice. Innate Immun. 2018 Jan; 24(1):3. PMID: 29313794.
  3. Kramer CD, Simas AM, He X, Ingalls RR, Weinberg EO, Genco CA. Distinct roles for dietary lipids and Porphyromonas gingivalis infection on atherosclerosis progression and the gut microbiota. Anaerobe. 2017 Jun; 45:19-30.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28442421.
  4. Aqeel Y, Rodriguez R, Chatterjee A, Ingalls RR, Samuelson J. Killing of diverse eye pathogens (Acanthamoeba spp., Fusarium solani, and Chlamydia trachomatis) with alcohols. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Feb; 11(2):e0005382.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28182670; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005382;.
  5. Shaik-Dasthagirisaheb YB, Mekasha S, He X, Gibson FC, Ingalls RR. Signaling events in pathogen-induced macrophage foam cell formation. Pathog Dis. 2016 08; 74(6).View Related Profiles. PMID: 27481727; DOI: 10.1093/femspd/ftw074;.
  6. Pudney J, He X, Masheeb Z, Kindelberger DW, Kuohung W, Ingalls RR. Differential expression of toll-like receptors in the human placenta across early gestation. Placenta. 2016 Oct; 46:1-10.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27697215; DOI: 10.1016/j.placenta.2016.07.005;.
  7. He X, Liang Y, LaValley MP, Lai J, Ingalls RR. Comparative analysis of the growth and biological activity of a respiratory and atheroma isolate of Chlamydia pneumoniae reveals strain-dependent differences in inflammatory activity and innate immune evasion. BMC Microbiol. 2015; 15:228.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26494400; PMCID: PMC4619265; DOI: 10.1186/s12866-015-0569-3;.
  8. Beaulieu LM, Clancy L, Tanriverdi K, Benjamin EJ, Kramer CD, Weinberg EO, He X, Mekasha S, Mick E, Ingalls RR, Genco CA, Freedman JE. Specific Inflammatory Stimuli Lead to Distinct Platelet Responses in Mice and Humans. PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0131688.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26148065; PMCID: PMC4493099; DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131688;.
  9. Kramer CD, Weinberg EO, Gower AC, He X, Mekasha S, Slocum C, Beaulieu LM, Wetzler L, Alekseyev Y, Gibson FC, Freedman JE, Ingalls RR, Genco CA. Distinct gene signatures in aortic tissue from ApoE-/- mice exposed to pathogens or Western diet. BMC Genomics. 2014; 15:1176.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25540039; PMCID: PMC4367889; DOI: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1176;.
  10. Islam A, Marathe JG, Pudney J, Ayehunie S, Ingalls RR, Anderson DJ. Effects of endogenous and exogenous female reproductive hormones on gene expression and barrier function in female genital epithelia. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 Oct; 30 Suppl 1:A228.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25357642; DOI: 10.1089/aid.2014.5500.abstract;.
Showing 10 of 49 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 49 publications over 22 distinct years, with a maximum of 4 publications in 1997 and 1998 and 1999 and 2000 and 2002

In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

Host-Pathogen Interactions
Infectious Diseases
Innate Immunity
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Contact for Mentoring:

650 Albany St Evans Biomed Research Ctr
Boston MA 02118
Google Map

Ingalls's Networks
Click the "See All" links for more information and interactive visualizations
Similar People
Same Department