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Immunology and Nano-Medicine

Research at Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine is mainly focused on molecular and cellular aspects to investigate the interactive role of recreational drugs and HIV-1 infection on human immune system. The work involves unraveling the mechanism of immunopathogenesis and neuropathogenesis of HIV-1 infection, which will help to develop novel therapeutic strategies to reduce drug addiction and HIV disease in drug abusing HIV-1 infected patients. The department also conducts research on developing nanocarrier drug delivery systems to target therapeutic molecules across the blood-brain barrier to treat primarily drug addiction and NeuroAIDS. The department's goal is to promote translational research and training in immunological techniques related to drug use/abuse, HIV infection and drug targeting approach for graduate and postgraduate levels.

Message from the Chair

I am very privileged and honored to be the Founding Chair of the Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Director of the Institute of NeuroImmune Pharmacology, Associate-Dean of Bio-Medical Research and Associate VP for Nano-Medicine at Florida International University. The  Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine has been engaged in various immunologic investigations including  how these studies can be better translated into  Personalized Nano-Medicine aimed at various  disease conditions, including  HIV infection, substance abuse, different central nervous system diseases particularly in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, various neurocognitive impairments  diseases associated with aging, cancers, and   emerging infectious diseases such as Zika and Ebola. Further the development of immunology and nano-medicine based pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals for clinical applications in these diseases are the core activities of the department’s research activities.  All these research investigations have been based on the basic premise of using innovative nanotechnology approaches and unique drug delivery methods that aim to tailor intervention strategies in patient and disease specific needs using state-of-the-art Nano-Medicine applications. Furthermore, the goal of the Department is also to provide training in neuro-immunological and nano-technological methods to undergraduate, medical, and graduate students. Every member of the department is expected to be honest, transparent and have integrity consistent with the vision of the Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine, the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and overall, FIU.

Madhavan P. Nair, Ph.D.
Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Immunology and Nano-Medicine
Director, Institute of NeuroImmune Pharmacology
Associate Dean of Bio-Medical Research and Associate VP for Nano-Medicine

Department of Immunology and Nano-medicine Labs and Core Facilities

Recent Publications:

  1. Nair, M.P.N., Rakesh Guduru, Oing Liang,Jeonming Hong, Vidya Sagar and Sakhrat Khizroev. (2013). Externally Controlled On-Demand Release of Anti-HIV Drug AZTTP Using Magneto-Electric Nanoparticles as Carriers. Nat Commun, 4:1707. PMID: 23591874.
  2. Ding H, Sagar V, Agudelo M, Pilakka- Kanthikeel S, Alturi VS, Raymond A, Samikkannu T, Nair MP. (2014). Enhanced Blood-brain barrier transmigration using a novel transferrin embedded fluorescent magneto-liposome nanoformulation. Nanotechnology, 7:25(5): PMID: 24406534.
  3. Sagar V., Pilakka-Kanthikeel , Atluri V.S.R., Ding H., Yndart A., Jayant R.D., Kaushik A., Nair M.P. (2015). Therapeutical neurotargeting via magnetic nanocarrier: Implications to opiate-induced neuropathogenesis and neuroAIDS. Journal of Biomedical Nanotechonlogy, 11:1722-1733.
  4. Raymond AD, Diaz P, Chevelon S, Agudelo M, Yndart-Arias A, Ding H, Kaushik A, Jayant RD, Nikkhah-Moshaie R, Roy U, Pilakka-Kanthikeel S, Nair MP. (2015). Microglia-derived HIV Nef+ exosome impairment of the blood-brain barrier is treatable by nanomedicine-based delivery of Nef peptides. J Neurovirol. 2016; 22(2): 129-39. PMID:
  5. Kaushik A., Jayant RD., Nikkhah-Moshaie R., Bhardwai V., Roy U., Huang Z., Ruiz A., Yndart A., Atluri V., El-Hage N., Khalili K., Nair M. (2016). Magnetically guided central nervous system delivery and toxicity evaluation of magneto-electric nanocarriers. Sci Rep. 6:25309. PMID: 27143580.
  6. Venkata S Atluri., Sudheesh Pilakka-Kanthikeel., Gabriella Garcia., Rahul Dev Jayant., Vidya Sagar., Samikkannu Thangavel., Adriana Yndart and Madhavan Nair (2016). Effect of Cocaine on HIV infection and Inflammasome Gene Expression Profile in HIV Infected Macrophages. Scientific Reports. 2016; 6:27864. doi: 10.1038/srep27864. PMID: 27321752.
  7. Nair M., Jayant RD., Kaushik A., Sagar V. (2016). Getting into the brain: Potential of nanotechnology in the management of NeuroAIDS. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2016; 103:202-217. PMID: 26944096.
  8. Nair M, Sagar V, Pilakka-Kanthikeel S (2016). Gene-expression reversal of IncRNAs and associated mRNAs expression in active vs latent HIV infection.Sci Rep. 2016; 6:34862. PMID:27756902.
  9. Tomitaka A, Arami H, Raymond A, Yndart A, Kaushik A, Jayant RD, Takemura Y, Cai Y, Toborek M, Nair M (2017). Development of magneto-plasmonic nanoparticles for multimodal image-guided therapy to the brain. 2017; 9 (2):764-773. PMID: 27976764.
  10. Jayant RD, Atluri VSR, Tiwari S, Pilakka-Kanthikeel S, Kaushik A, Yndart A, Nair MP (2017). Novel nanoformulation to mitigate co-effects of drugs of abuse and HIV-1 infection: towards the treatment of NeuroAIDS. J Neurovirol. 2017 Jul; doi: 10.1007/s13365-017-0538-8.[Epub ahead of print].
  11. Gupta P, Garcia E, Sarkar A, Kapoor S, Rafiq K, Chand HS, Nair M, Jayant RD. Nanoparticle based treatment for Cardiovascular Diseases. Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets. 2018 May 7. doi: 10.2174/1871529X18666180508113253. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29737265.
  12. Rodriguez M, Lapierre J, Ojha CR, Kaushik A, Batrakova E, Kashanchi F, Dever SM, Nair M, El-Hage N. Author Correction: Intranasal drug delivery of small interfering RNA targeting Beclin1 encapsulated with polyethylenimine (PEI) in mouse brain to achieve HIV attenuation. Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 14;8(1):4778. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-23078-y. PubMed PMID: 29540788; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5852155.


Recent patents:

  1. Madhavan Nair, Zainulabedin M. Saiyed, Nimisha H. Gandhi. Plant derived formulation for treatment of HIV. US 9,238,051-B2.
  2. Ajeet Kaushik, Madhavan Nair. Rapid Zika virus detection using nano-enabled electrochemical sensing system. 2018. US 10,012,645 B2.
  3. Upal Roy, Vadym Dorzd, Madhavan Nair, Surendra Saxena, Andriy Durygin. Nanodiamond Compositions and their use for Drug Delivery. 2016; PCT/US 2015/204,652.
  4. Sakhrat Khizroev, Nair M.P.N., Ping Laing, Carolyn Runowicz, Rakesh Guduru. On – demand drug release using magneto – electric nanoparticles. 2015; PCT/US 2013/068698.

Institute of NeuroImmune Pharmacology

In Congruence with Worlds Ahead Strategic Plan of FIU/ HWCOM, and NIH Road map INIP will engage in:

State-of-the-art and translational research, creative activity

High quality teaching

Training and collaborative engagements


Florida International University
Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Immunology and Nano-Medicine
11200 SW 8th Street
Miami, FL 33199

Tel: 305-348-0570
Fax: 305-348-0123