CAMs are used for the prevention and treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases, though for many of these CAMs, their true efficacy and the molecular basis for their purported benefits have not been defined and/or confirmed. We propose a new Center of Excellence for Research on CAMs (CERC) focused on the study of the mechanisms of action of diverse CAMs in models of pulmonary and intestinal infectious disease. Since in many instances the resulting inflammatory response associated with infection in the lung and intestinal track accounts for the actual pathology in the disease, we also intend to expand ongoing efforts in using CAMs to minimize inflammation induced tissue damage. The ultimate goal of this CERC is to provide critical insight into the mechanisms of action of select CAMs that can be used as countermeasures against emerging and select agents that infect the pulmonary and intestinal mucosa. This Center brings together scientists with expertise in bacterial and viral diseases of the lung and intestinal tract, study of CAM effects on innate leukocytes and epithelial cells, purification of defined agonists from crude plant extracts, use of probiotic CAMs, and use of rodent models of infectious and inflammatory disease to define specific mechanisms of action. This Center will also take advantage of new BSL-3 facilities to study the impact of CAMs on select agents. The CERC will initially be focused on three distinct projects, which will be supported by two Cores: Administrative (Core A) and Animal Model (Core B). The three Research Projects are: Project 1) CAMs that enhance ??T cell function, Project Leader, Mark Jutila, Ph.D.;Project 2) Anti-viral CAMs, Project Leader, Dr. Michele Hardy, Ph.D.;and Project 3) Anti-inflammatory microbial CAMs and arthritis, Project Leader, Dr. David Pascual, Ph.D. The Animal Models Core will serve as a unique and highly interactive resource, facilitating synergy and collaboration between the three research projects.

Public Health Relevance

CAMs are widely used by the public to treat a variety of ailments, however, in many instances their true efficacy, safety and specific mechanisms of action are unknown. This proposed CERC provides a unique focus on mechanistic studies of CAMs that counter infectious and inflammatory disease. It directly addresses the goals of the NCCAM, and will provide important new information relevant to the use of CAMs by the public.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Research Program Projects (P01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-SM (11))
Program Officer
Pontzer, Carol H
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Montana State University - Bozeman
Veterinary Sciences
Schools of Earth Sciences/Natur
United States
Zip Code
Kochetkova, Irina; Thornburg, Theresa; Callis, Gayle et al. (2014) Oral Escherichia coli colonization factor antigen I fimbriae ameliorate arthritis via IL-35, not IL-27. J Immunol 192:804-16
Skyberg, Jerod A (2014) Immunopotentiation for bacterial biodefense. Curr Top Med Chem 14:2115-26
Pascual, David W; Yang, Xinghong; Holderness, Kathryn et al. (2014) Regulatory T-cell vaccination independent of auto-antigen. Exp Mol Med 46:e82
Hendricks, Jay M; Lowe, Diana C; Hardy, Michele E (2014) Differential induction of isolated lymphoid follicles in the gut by 18?-glycyrrhetinic acid. PLoS One 9:e100878
Kouakou, Koffi; Schepetkin, Igor A; Jun, SangMu et al. (2013) Immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides isolated from Clerodendrum splendens: beneficial effects in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. BMC Complement Altern Med 13:149
Kouakou, Koffi; Schepetkin, Igor A; Yapi, Ahoua et al. (2013) Immunomodulatory activity of polysaccharides isolated from Alchornea cordifolia. J Ethnopharmacol 146:232-42
Long, Danyelle R; Mead, Julia; Hendricks, Jay M et al. (2013) 18*-Glycyrrhetinic acid inhibits methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus survival and attenuates virulence gene expression. Antimicrob Agents Chemother 57:241-7
Yamamoto, M; Pascual, D W; Kiyono, H (2012) M cell-targeted mucosal vaccine strategies. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 354:39-52
Skyberg, Jerod A; Rollins, MaryClare F; Holderness, Jeff S et al. (2012) Nasal Acai polysaccharides potentiate innate immunity to protect against pulmonary Francisella tularensis and Burkholderia pseudomallei Infections. PLoS Pathog 8:e1002587
Schepetkin, Igor A; Kirpotina, Liliya N; Khlebnikov, Andrei I et al. (2012) Identification and characterization of a novel class of c-Jun N-terminal kinase inhibitors. Mol Pharmacol 81:832-45

Showing the most recent 10 out of 18 publications