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Dr Suraj Parihar, Chief Research Officer (Associate Professor Level)

Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town

Suraj PariharContributing Investigator - Wellcome Centre for Infectious disease Research in Africa (CIDRI-Africa), Y2-rated researcher-National Research Foundation (NRF) & Academic Lead IDM Biosafety Level Three Facilities

Key areas of expertise:

Host-directed therapeutic targets, Macrophage-Mtb interactions, gene-knockout mouse models

Suraj Parihar is an immunologist with research aims at understanding macrophage-pathogen interactions. He aims to identify host factors/products, exploited by intracellular pathogens (M. tuberculosis and L. monocytogenes) for their survival and/or evasion within macrophages. His research focuses on host-directed therapies as alternative and innovative strategies. To this end, he uses deep-CAGE transcriptomics, repurposed drugs and chemical inhibitors, gene knockdown as well as gene-deficient murine models. Suraj is the first graduate of ICGEB-Cape Town component (2012). He received Arturo Falaschi ICGEB (2013), Claude Leon Foundation and Clinical Infectious Disease Research Initiative (CIDRI) Post-doctoral fellowships (2014-2016) and Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, Japan


Selected publications:

Guler R*, Mpotje T*, Ozturk M*, Nono Komguep J*, Parihar SP*, Chia Julius, Aziz N, Hlaka L, Kumar S, Roy S, Penn-Nicholson A, Hanekom W, Zak D, Scriba T, Suzuki H, Brombacher F. Batf2 differentially regulates tissue immunopathology in type1 and type 2 diseases. Mucosal Immunology 2019 Mar;12(2):390-402. doi: 10.1038/s41385-018-0108-2.

Statins: a viable candidate for host-directed therapies against infectious diseases. Parihar SP*, Reto Guler and Frank Brombacher*, Nature Reviews Immunology. 2019 Feb;19(2):104-117. doi: 10.1038/s41577-018-0094-3.

Parihar SP, Ozturk M, Marakalala MJ, Loots DT, Hurdayal R, Maasdorp DB, Reenen MV, Zak DE, Darboe F, Penn-Nicholson A, Hanekom WA, Leitges M, Scriba TJ, Guler R and Brombacher F*. Protein Kinase C-delta (PKC-δ), a marker of inflammation and tuberculosis disease progression in humans, is important for optimal macrophage killing effector functions and survival in mice during Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection. Mucosal Immunol. 2018 Mar 23. doi: 10.1038/mi.2017.68.

Hurdayal R#, Ndlovu HH#, Revaz-Breton M, Parihar SP, Komguep JN, Govender M and Brombacher F*, Early IL-4-producing B cells regulate T helper cell dichotomy in Type 1 and Type 2-controlled diseases. PNAS. 2017 Oct 3;114(40): E8430-E8439. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1708125114.

Parihar SP, Hartley MA, Hurdayal R, Guler R and Brombacher F*. Topical Simvastatin as Host-Directed Therapy against Severity of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Mice. Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 16; 6:33458.

Guler R*, Parihar SP*, Savvi S, Logan E, Schwegmann A, Roy S, Nieuwenhuizen NE, Ozturk M, Schmeier S, Suzuki H, Brombacher F. IL-4Rα-dependent alternative activation of macrophages is not decisive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathology and bacterial burden in mice. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 19;10(3): e0121070.

Parihar SP*, Guler R*, Khutlang R, Lang DM, Hurdayal R, Mhlanga MM, Suzuki H, Marais AD, Brombacher F. Statin therapy reduces the Mycobacterium tuberculosis burden in human macrophages and in mice by enhancing autophagy and phagosome maturation. J Infect Dis. 2014 Mar 1;209 (5):754-63.

Parihar SP*, Guler R*, Lang DM, Suzuki H, Marais AD, Brombacher F. Simvastatin enhances protection against Listeria monocytogenes infection in mice by counteracting Listeria-induced phagosomal escape. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 24;8(9): e75490.

Guler R, Parihar SP, Spohn G, Johansen P, Brombacher F, Bachmann MF. Blocking IL-1α but not IL-1β increases susceptibility to chronic Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in mice. Vaccine. 2011 Feb 1;29(6):1339-46.


Contact details:

Room N2.10, Wernher & Biet (North)
IDM, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 650 4883
Email:  suraj.parihar@uct.ac.za

Alternate site: www.cidri-africa.uct.ac.za/cidri-africa/about/contributing-investigators


Group members:

Julius E Chia (PhD Student)

Sibongiseni Poswayo (MSc student)

Rudranil Hazra (PhD Student)

Saiyukthi Naidoo (MSc Student)



Frank Brombacher (ICGEB-Cape Town, South Africa)

Maximiliano Gutierrez (Francis Crick Institute, London, United Kingdom)