McMaster University

Medical Sciences
Graduate Program

Scope of Search

Charu Kaushic

Charu Kaushic

MSc, PhD
Assistant Professor

Research Interests

Elucidate mechanisms by which hormones regulate infectivity and immune responses to sexually transmitted diseases such as Chlamydia, Herpes Simples Virus-2 and HIV-1. Understanding these mechanisms will be critical in developing successful vaccine strategies to STDs. We have previously shown that sex hormones play a critical role in regulating immune system in the female genital tract.

Role of factors such as cytokines and chemokines that initiate and regulate immune responses in female genital tract and their interaction with sex hormones; Expression of receptors and co-receptors to herpes and HIV and their regulation by sex hormones; Studies on infectivity of human and mouse epithelial cells by HSV-2 and HIV and changes in infectivity and immune responses under different hormonal conditions; in vivo regulation of mucosal immune responses in the genital tract to viral and bacterial STDs by sex hormones.

In vitro cell cultures of primary genital tract cells and cell lines to examine infectivity and cellular responses; in vivo infection of ovariectomized mice followed by hormone replacement to examine immune responses in intact animals; cellular and molecular assays to examine differential cytokine and chemokine expressions such as RNase protection assays and gene array analysis; antigen specific T and B cell immune responses; confocal microscopy; flow cytometry.


McMaster University
Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning & Discovery

telephone: (905) 525-9140 ext. 22988

Program Area

Infection & Immunity

Research Focus

Mucosal Immunology, Female Genital Tract, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Sex Hormones, HIV, Vaccines

Selected Publications

  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate Enhances HIV-1 Uptake and Transcytosis, but not Replication, in Primary Human Genital Epithelial Cells. Ferreira VH, Nazli A, Kafka JK, Mueller K, Tremblay MJ, Cochrane A, Kaushic C. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014 Oct;30 Suppl 1:A53-4. doi: 10.1089/aid.2014.5094.
  • MicroRNA-155 Is Required for Clearance of Streptococcus pneumoniae from the Nasopharynx.

    Verschoor CP, Dorrington MG, Novakowski KE, Kaiser J, Radford K, Nair P, Anipindi V, Kaushic C, Surette MG, Bowdish DM. Infect Immun. 2014 Nov;82(11):4824-33. doi:10.1128/IAI.02251-14. Epub 2014 Aug 25.

  • Latent TGF-β1 is Compartmentalized Between Blood and Seminal Plasma of HIV-Positive Men and Its Activation in Semen is Negatively Correlated with Viral Load and Immune Activation.

    Kafka JK, Osborne BJ, Sheth PM, Nazli A, Dizzell S, Huibner S, Kovacs C, Verschoor CP, Bowdish DM, Kaul R, Kaushic C. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2014 Jul 23. doi: 10.1111/aji.12300.