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Avindra Nath , M.D., Senior Investigator

Dr. Nath received his MD degree from Christian Medical College in India in 1981 and completed a residency in Neurology from University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, followed by a fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis and Neurovirology at the same institution and then a fellowship in Neuro-AIDS at NINDS. He held faculty positions at the University of Manitoba (1990-97) and the University of Kentucky (1997-02). In 2002, he joined Johns Hopkins University as Professor of Neurology and Director of the Division of Neuroimmunology and Neurological Infections. He joined NIH in 2011 as the Clinical Director of NINDS, the Director of the Translational Neuroscience Center and Chief of the Section of Infections of the Nervous System. His research focuses on understanding the pathophysiology of retroviral infections of the nervous system and the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for these diseases.
Photo of Avindra  Nath , M.D., Senior Investigator

Staff Photo for Section of Infections of the Nervous System

Research Interests:
Neuropathogenesis of HIV infection: While important strides have been made in developing anti-retroviral therapies, no impact has been made to control HIV reservoirs in the brain. Our laboratory is focused on characterizing the virus in the brain by studying the mechanisms by which the virus enters different cell types in the brain and it ability to persist in glial cells for extended periods of time. Our laboratory has shown that the HIV-Tat protein is produced in the brain despite adequate antiretroviral therapy, hence we are trying understand its role in HIV pathogenesis and in developing means to block its effects.

Role of endogenous retroviruses in neurological diseases: Retroviral sequences remains dormant in the human genome and occupy nearly 7-8% of the genomic sequence. We have shown that they may be activated in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, hence we are now using a wide variety of in vitro, and in vivo studies to determine the mechanism by which their expression is regulated and if their expression can cause neurological damage and if they can be transmitted from cell to cell.

Management of Neuroimmune and neuroinfectious diseases: Undiagnosed neuroinflammatory diseases carry a huge burden with devastating consequences. In collaboration with other clinicians in NINDS and other institutes, we are developing a program for developing diagnostic methods and modes of treatment for these diseases.

Selected Recent Publications:
  • Nath A. (InPress) Eradication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus from Brain Reservoirs, J. Neurovirology.

  • Alfahad T, Nath A. (2013) Retroviruses and Amyotropic lateral sclerosis, Antiviral Research 99, 180-187. Full Text/Abstract

  • Wang T, Choi E, Monaco MC, Campanac E, Medynets M, Do T, Rao P, Johnson KR, Elkahloun AG, Von Geldern G, Johnson T, Subramaniam S, Hoffman D, Major E, Nath A. (2013) Derivation of Neural Stem Cells from Human Adult Peripheral CD34+ Cells for an Autologous Model of Neuroinflammation, PLoS One 8(11), e81720. Full Text/Abstract

  • Johnson TP, Patel, K, Johnson K, Maric D, Calabresi, P, Hasbun R, Nath A* (2013) Induction of IL-17 and non-classical T-cell activation by HIV-Tat protein, Proc Natl Acad Sci 110(33), 13588-93. Full Text/Abstract

  • Li G, Li W, Mumper R, Nath A. (2012) Molecular mechanisms in the dramatic enhancement of HIV-Tat transduction by cationic liposomes, FASEB J 26(7), 2824-34. Full Text/Abstract

  • Rumbaugh J, Bachani M, Li W, Butler T, Smith K, Bianchet M, Wang T, Prendergast M, Sacktor N, Nath A. (2012) HIV Immune Complexes Prevent Excitotoxicity by Interaction with NMDA Receptors, Neurobiology of Disease 49C, 169-76. Full Text/Abstract

  • Wang T, Lee M-H, Choi E, Pardo CA, Lee SB, Yang IH, Calabresi PA, Nath A. (2012) Granzyme B-induced neurotoxicity is mediated via activation of PAR-1 receptor and Kv1.3 channel, PLoS ONE 7(8), e43950. Full Text/Abstract

All Selected Publications

Contact Information:

Dr. Avindra Nath
Section of Infections of the Nervous Systems
Bldg 10-CRC, Room 7C103
Bethesda, MD 20892-



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