Pedro Mejia

mejia_mitchelllabPostdoctoral Research Fellow

Education:  Ph. D. Immunology, Pasteur Institute, 2006.

Research Interests:

Pedro is interested in Malaria, one of the most prevalent diseases worldwide. There are approximately 300-500 million cases of malaria, which result in around 1 million deaths a year. The nutritional status of the patient has long been suspected to play a major role in disease outcome in malaria, but the effects of specific nutrient deficiencies remain controversial and poorly characterized. Using an experimental model of severe malaria our team aim to define host nutritional and genetic factors modulating disease outcome. In his free time, Pedro enjoys sports and social work.

Select Publications:

Peng W, Robertson L, Gallinetti J, Mejia P, Vose S, Charlip A, Chu T, Mitchell JR, Surgical Stress Resistance Induced by Single Amino Acid Deprivation Requires Gcn2 in Mice. Sci Transl Med. 25 January 2012: Vol. 4, Issue 118, p. 118.

Pedro Mejia, Monica Diez-Silva, Fengxin Lu, Alvin Davis III.  “C1-inhibitor interacts with Plasmodium falciparum and protects against experimental severe malaria in mice”.   Molecular Immunology 2008 (45): 4156.

Alvin E. Davis III, Pedro Mejia, Fengxin Lu.  “Biological activities of C1-inhibitor”. Molecular Immunology 2008 (45): 4057-4063.

Druilhe P, Spertini F, Soesoe D, Corradin G, Mejia P, Singh S, Audran R, Bouzidi A, Oeuvray C, Roussilhon C. “A malaria vaccine that elicits in humans antibodies able to kill Plasmodium falciparum”.  PLoS Med. 2005 Nov; 2(11):e344.

Singh S, Soe S, Mejia P, Roussilhon C, Theisen M, Corradin G, Druilhe P.  “Identification of a conserved region of Plasmodium falciparum MSP3 targeted by biologically active antibodies to improve vaccine design”. J Infect Dis. 2004 Sep 1; 190(5):1010-8.

Alvin E. Davis III, Fengxin Lu and Pedro Mejia.  “C1-Inhibitor, a multi-functional serine protease inhibitor.” Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2010 Aug 30;104(5).

Ludovic Arnold, Rajeev Kumar Tyagi, Pedro Mejia, Nico Van Rooijen, Jean-Louis-Pérignon1 and Pierre Druilhe. “Analysis of innate defences against Plasmodium falciparum in immunodeficient mice.” Malar J. 2010 Jul 9;9(1):197.

Chris Hine


Postdoctoral Research Fellow


Ph.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (2011)

B.S., Youngstown State University (2004)

Research Interests:

My major research interests lie in cellular and organismal hormetic responses stimulated by dietary intervention. Low levels of stress originating from reduced caloric intake, alterations in amino acid composition and short-term fasting have been previously shown to elicit resistance to larger stresses induced by ischemia, radiation as well as cancer chemotherapeutics. What are not completely understood are the signals, activation cascades and transcription factors needed to elicit the hormetic response. In my research, I study the roles Sirt3 and Nrf2 play in the dietary preconditioning stimulated hormetic response against ischemic reperfusion and ionizing radiation. An ultimate goal would be the development of a dietary regiment that would offer protection to patients and their organs as they undergo chemo- and radio-therapies as well as surgeries where blood flow is restricted for a prolonged period of time.

Selected Publications:
Hine, C; Seluanov, A; Gorbunova, V. Rad51 Promoter Targeted Gene Therapy is Effective for in vivo Visualization and Treatment of Cancer. Molecular Therapy (Accepted 2011)

Mao, Z; Hine, C; Tian, X; Van Meter, M, Au, M; Vaidya, A; Seluanov, A; Gorbunova, V. SIRT6 promotes DNA repair under stress by activating PARP1. Science (2011)

Seluanov, A; Hine, C; Azpurua, J; Feigenson, M; Bozzella, M; Mao, Z; Catania, K Gorbunova, V. Hypersensitivity to contact inhibition provides a clue to cancer resistance of naked mole-rat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (2009)

Hine, C; Seluanov, A; Gorbunova, V. Use of the Rad51 promoter for targeted anti-cancer therapy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (2008)

Seluanov, A; Hine, C; Bozzella, M; Hall, A; Sasahara, T; Ribeiro, A; Catania, K; Presgraves, D; Gorbunova, V. Distinct tumor suppressor mechanisms evolve in rodent species that differ in size and lifespan. Aging Cell (2008)

Gorbunova, V; Seluanov, A; Mao, Z; Hine, C. Changes in DNA repair during aging. Nucleic Acids Research (2007)

Seluanov, A; Chen, Z; Hine, C; Sasahara, T; Ribeiro, A Catania, K; Presgraves, D; Gorbunova, V. Telomerase activity coevolves with body mass, not lifespan. Aging Cell (2007)

Eylul Harputlugil


Graduate Student


B.Sc., Biological Sciences and Bioengineering, Sabanci University, 2008

M.Sc., Molecular Biology, Bilkent University, 2010

Research Interests:

I am interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying dietary preconditioning against acute surgical stress in mice, using an ischemia reperfusion model. More specifically, I am working on the role of mTORC1 pathway in sensing dietary nutrients, and the downstream effectors that provide protection from acute stress.


Menon S, Yecies JL, Zhang HH, Howell JJ, Nicholatos J, Harputlugil E, Bronson RT, Kwiatkowski DJ, Manning BD. Chronic activation of mTOR complex 1 is sufficient to cause hepatocellular carcinoma in mice. Sci Signal. 2012 Mar 27;5(217):ra24. PMID: 22457330