My Innovations Visionary Leadership (incomplete, in progress)

I have been conducting biomedical research since 1980 as an independent scientist, and have used molecular biological and morphological methods to study the pathogenesis of various infectious diseases, including Multiple Sclerosis and Autism spectrum disorders. Much of my work has been recognized in top-tier journals, such as New England Journal of Medicine, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Virology, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Pediatrics, Nature Medicine, Nature Protocol and many other journals. Below is a short summary.

1) I was the first to explore the role of alcohol and cocaine in possible acceleration of HIV to AIDS and increased infectivity of HIV in individuals under the influence. I independently discovered the anti-HIV effects of dextran sulfate and other sulfated Polysaccharides. This strategy is currently being applied in the topical creams as antimicrobicides.

Bagasra O, AK Balla. 1988. Ethanol-induced immunomodulations in chronic alcoholism. Clin. Immunology Newsletter 9: 9-13.

Bagasra O, LJ Forman. 1989. Functional Analysis of Lymphocyte Subpopulations in Experimental Cocaine Abuse. I. Dose Dependent Activation of Lymphocyte Subsets. Clin. Expt. Immunology 77:289-93.

Bagasra O, LJ Forman, A Howeedy, P Whittle. 1992. A Potential Vaccine for Cocaine. Immunopharmocology, 23:173-179.

Bagasra O, A Kajdacsy-Balla, HW Lischner. 1989. Effects of Alcohol Ingestion on in vitro Susceptibility of Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells to Infection with HIV and of Selected T-Cell Functions. Alcoholism: Clin & Expert Research 13:636-43.

Bagasra O, Bachman SE, Jew L, Tawardos R, Cater J, Boden G, Ryan I, PJ Pomerantz. 1996. Increased HIV-1 Replication in Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells Induced by E Ethanol: Potential Immunopathologic Mechanisms. J. Infectious Disease. 173:550-558.

2) I am the original inventors of in situ PCR method and my group was first to show that a much larger numbers of peripheral blood CD4+ cells are infected with HIV than previously thought. Which subsequently lead in the development of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy or HAART.

Bagasra O, Editorial Notes: Polymerase Chain Reaction in situ. In “Amplification”. 1990, March pp. 21-22 (the first report on in situ PCR that was used for the patent application)

Bagasra O, SP Hauptman, HW Lischner, M Sachs and RJ Pomerantz. 1992. Detection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 in Mononuclear Cells by in situ Polymerase Chain Reaction. New England J. Medicine 326:1385-1391. (Cited 314 times. The first article on high percentage of HIV infected lymphocytes. This changed the paradigm of HIV/AIDS).

Seshamma T,O Bagasra, D Trono, D Baltimore and RJ Pomerantz. 1992. Blocked Early-Stage Latency in the Peripheral Blood Cells of Certain HIV-1-Infected Individuals.   PNAS (USA). 89:10663-10667 (Cited 88 times. The first article on HIV RNA load and initiated a new understanding of HIV latency).

3) I have worked on the NeuroAIDS and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), where I evaluated the post mortem autopsied brains from the AIDS patients as well as from the MS patients to look at the types of infected cells with HIV in the neuroAIDs and expressions of iNOS in the MS brains.

Pereira RF, KW Halford, MD O’Hara, DB Leeper, BP Sokolov, MD Pollard, O Bagasra and DJ Prockop. 1995. Cultured Stromal Cells from Marrow Serve as Stem Cells for Bone, Lung and Cartilage in Irradiated Mice. PNAS (USA) 92:4857-4861 (Cited 1067 times).

Bagasra O, Lavi U, Bobroski L, Khalili K, Pestaner JP, RJ Pomerantz. 1996. Cellular Reservoirs of HIV-1 in the Central Nervous System of Infected-Individuals: Identification by the Combination of in situ PCR and Immunohistochemistry. AIDS 10:573-585. (Cited 383 times)

Bagasra O, Michaels F, Zheng Y M, Bobroski L, Spitsin S V, Fu Z F, Koprowski H. 1995. Activation of the Inducible form of Nitric Oxide Synthetase in the Brains of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA) 92: 12041-45. (Cited 451 times)

Hooper DC, O. Bagasra, JC Marini, A Zborek, ST Ohnishi, R Kean, JM Champion, AB Sarker, L Bobroski, JL Farber, T Akaike, H Maeda and H Koprowski. 1997. Prevention of Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis by Trageting Nitric Oxide and Peroxynitrite: Implications for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. PNAS (USA) 94: 2528-2533. (Cited 332 times)

Bagasra O, Lavi U, Bobroski L, Khalili K, Pestaner JP, RJ Pomerantz. 1996. Cellular Reservoirs of HIV-1 in the Central Nervous System of Infected-Individuals: Identification by the Combination of in situ PCR and Immuno-histochemistry. AIDS 10:573-585. (Cited 383 times).

4) I was the first scientist to describe the existence of miRNAs as a molecular immune system. It was in the 1999 book that I first presented a detailed account of the observations regarding intracellular immunity, and the associated short RNA sequences. The theory presented in the HIV and Molecular Immunity grew out of unusual findings that kept popping up in my molecular-immunology laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University in the early- to mid-1990s. Not long thereafter, several notable investigators working with C. elegans and plant genetics published similar results regarding what is now called “RNA interference,” or, more commonly, “RNAi.”

Bagasra O. and M. Amjad. 1997. Natural immunity against HIV-1: Prospect for AIDS vaccine. Frontier in Bioscience 2:387-402 (Cited 9 times) The first article that alluded to miRNA based protection against HIV).

Bagasra O. HIV and Molecular Immunity: Prospect for AIDS Vaccine. Eaton publishing, (March 1999). Natic, MA. (Cited 119 times).

Bagasra O, M. Amjad. 2000. Protection against retroviruses is owing to a different form of immunity: A RNA-based molecular immunity hypothesis. Applied Immunochem and Molecular Morphology 8:133-146.

Bagasra O, & K.P Prilliman. 2004. RNA Interference: the molecular immune system. J Molecular Histology 35:545-553. (Cited 129 times)

Bagasra O. 2005. RNAi as an anti-HIV therapy. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 5(11):1463-74. (Cited 22 times).

5) My recent work is in the area of autism and environmental factors. I was the first to explore a role of synthetic chemicals on fetal brain neurons and explore this area. Many of the synthetic chemicals found in fragrances have endocrine disturbing functions including acting as testosterone-like functions.

Bagasra, O, Z Golkar, M Garcia, L N. Rice and D G. Pace. Role of Perfumes in Molecular Pathogenesis of Autism. Med Hypotheses 2013; 80(6):795-803. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.03.014. (Cited 19 Times). The first article on role of fragrances in autism.

Sealey LA, BW Hughes, A. Steinemann, JP Pestaner, DG Pace and O Bagasra. Role of Environmental Factors in Autism Development and Male Bias: Neuromodifying Effects of Fragrance. Environmental Research. 2015; Sept 23:142;731-738.

Sealey L.A., Hughes B.W., Sriskanda A.N., Guest J.R., Gibson A.D., Johnson-Williams L., Pace D.G., and Bagasra O. Environmental Factors in the Development of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Environment International.2016;88:288-298.

Hughes BW, Sealey LA and O Bagasra. Mechanism of Male Gender Bias in Neuroblastoma Cell Lines Exposed to Fragrances: A Link to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Expert Opinion on Environmental Biology.2016; 5:1-21.

6) I am the first scientist to critically evaluate the sexual mode of Zika virus transmission. It has been shown that Zika virus remain in male semen who were infected and have developed antibodies to Zika virus, still can transmit the virus. So, far in some cases the virus has been tested positive until 189 days post recovery from Zika virus. Why is this? What the virus would do and would it be effective?

Hughes BW, KC Addanki, A Sriskanda, McLean O. Bagasra. Infectivity of Immature Neurons to Zika Virus: A Link to Congenital Zika Syndrome eBioMedicine 2016;10:66-70.

McClean E, Bhattarai R, BW. Hughes, K. Mahalingam, O Bagasra. Computational Identification of Mutually Homologous Zika Virus miRNAs that Target Microcephaly Genes. (In Press, LJM).

Omar Bagasra, Krishna Addanki, Brandon W. Hughes, Pratima Pandey, Ewen McLean. Cellular Targets and Receptor of Sexual Transmission of Zika Virus (submitted for Publication.