Radha Gopal, PhD

  • Research Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Radha Gopal, PhD, is a research assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonology. Gopal earned her Bachelor and Master of Veterinary Science degree from Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, India, and her PhD from Northern Arizona University. She then completed her post-doctoral training at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Gopal’s research focuses on understanding the immune mechanisms of influenza-associated cardiovascular diseases. Studies have shown the influenza infection triggering acute myocardial infarction. Atherosclerosis is a common cause of coronary artery disease. Gopal’s research is to investigate the impact of influenza on vascular endothelial cells, macrophages, lymphocytes, and vascular smooth muscle cells on atherosclerotic plaque formation and rupture. Ultimately, this research improves understanding the mechanisms involved influenza-induced cardiovascular events and helps to identify potential therapeutic targets. Gopal is also interested in understanding the role of type III interferons in atherosclerosis. Interferon lambda (IFNL) has shown to be a potential therapeutic agent for treating influenza infection. Identifying the effect of IFNL in atherosclerosis will extend the information on the therapeutic potential of IFNL in influenza infection.

Professional and Scientific Society Memberships

  • American Association of Immunologists, 2011-Present
  • American Thoracic Society, 2016-Present
  • American Heart Association, 2016-Present

Education & Training

  • BVSc, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, 1997
  • MVSc, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, 2001
  • PhD, Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, 2009
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Pulmonology, University of Pittsburgh, 2017

Selected Publications

Gopal, R., Lee, B., McHugh, K. J., Rich, H. E., Ramanan, K., Mandalapu, S., Clay, M. E., Seger, P. J., Enelow, R. I., Manni, M. L., Robinson, K. M., Rangel-Moreno, J., and Alcorn, J. F. (2018) STAT2 Signaling Regulates Macrophage Phenotype During Influenza and Bacterial Super-Infection. Frontiers in immunology 9, 2151. PMID: 30337919.

Griffiths, .K. L., Ahmed M., Das, S., Gopal, R., Horne, W., Connell, T.D., Moynihan, K.D., Kolls, J.K., Irvine, D.J., Artyomov, M.N., Rangel-Moreno, J., Khader, S.A. (2016) Targeting dendritic cells to accelerate T-cell activation overcomes a bottleneck in tuberculosis vaccine efficacy. Nat Commun. 7, 13894. PMID: 28004802.

Gopal, R., Monin, L., Slight, S., Uche, U., Blanchard, E., Fallert Junecko, B. A., Ramos-Payan, R., Stallings, C. L., Reinhart, T. A., Kolls, J. K., Kaushal, D., Nagarajan, U., Rangel-Moreno, J., and Khader, S. A. (2014) Unexpected role for IL-17 in protective immunity against hypervirulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis HN878 infection. PLoS Pathog 10, e1004099. PMID: 24831696.

Gopal, R., Monin, L., Torres, D., Slight, S., Mehra, S., McKenna, K. C., Fallert Junecko, B. A., Reinhart, T. A., Kolls, J., Baez-Saldana, R., Cruz-Lagunas, A., Rodriguez-Reyna, T. S., Kumar, N. P., Tessier, P., Roth, J., Selman, M., Becerril-Villanueva, E., Baquera-Heredia, J., Cumming, B., Kasprowicz, V. O., Steyn, A. J., Babu, S., Kaushal, D., Zuniga, J., Vogl, T., Rangel-Moreno, J., and Khader, S. A. (2013) S100A8/A9 proteins mediate neutrophilic inflammation and lung pathology during tuberculosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 188, 1137-1146. PMID: 24047412.

Slight, S. R., Rangel-Moreno, J., Gopal, R., Lin, Y., Fallert Junecko, B. A., Mehra, S., Selman, M., Becerril-Villanueva, E., Baquera-Heredia, J., Pavon, L., Kaushal, D., Reinhart, T. A., Randall, T. D., and Khader, S. A. (2013) CXCR5(+) T helper cells mediate protective immunity against tuberculosis. J Clin Invest 123, 712-726. PMID: 23281399.

Gopal, R., Rangel-Moreno, J., Slight, S., Lin, Y., Nawar, H. F., Fallert Junecko, B. A., Reinhart, T. A., Kolls, J., Randall, T. D., Connell, T. D., and Khader, S. A. (2013) Interleukin-17-dependent CXCL13 mediates mucosal vaccine-induced immunity against tuberculosis. Mucosal Immunol 6, 972-984. PMID: 23299616.

Gopal, R., Lin, Y., Obermajer, N., Slight, S., Nuthalapati, N., Ahmed, M., Kalinski, P., and Khader, S. A. (2012) IL-23-dependent IL-17 drives Th1-cell responses following Mycobacterium bovis BCG vaccination. Eur J Immunol 42, 364-373. PMID: 22101830.

Gopal, R., Rangel-Moreno, J., Fallert Junecko, B. A., Mallon, D. J., Chen, K., Pociask, D. A., Connell, T. D., Reinhart, T. A., Alcorn, J. F., Ross, T. M., Kolls, J. K., and Khader, S. A. (2014) Mucosal pre-exposure to Th17-inducing adjuvants exacerbates pathology after influenza infection. Am J Pathol 184, 55-63. PMID: 24183780.

View MyNCBI Bibliography » 

Academic and Research Interests

  • Influenza
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Interferons

Research Grants

NIH 1R01HL146479-01, Immune mechanisms of influenza-induced exacerbation of atherosclerosis (PI, 50% effort), 2020-2025, $1,947,775.