Susmit Suvas

Susmit Suvas

Susmit Suvas

Position Title

Associate Professor

Office Phone



Inflammation is an outcome of the host response to injury or infection. When occurs for a short duration (acute inflammation), it is beneficial to the host. However, inflammation that persists over a long period of time (chronic inflammation) is detrimental to the body. The research in Professor Suvas lab is focused to determine the relative contribution of peripheral nervous system (PNS) in regulating the corneal chronic inflammation induced in response to ocular herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) infection. If left untreated, HSV-1 induced chronic inflammation can cause the development of herpetic stromal keratitis (HSK), a leading cause of infection induced blindness in the United States. The lab is also ascertaining the age-related alterations in PNS and its effect on the development of inflamaging (a low-grade systemic inflammation that develops with increasing age). Studies are also being carried out to determine the immunobiology of Foxp3 Tregs in aged host and their relative contribution in controlling inflamaging in the mouse model. The lab is currently funded with a R01 grant from National Eye Institute (NEI).

Research Educator, Full time, PhD, Immunology

Awards & Honors

  • Received - Faculty Recognition award" for Research at Oakland University, 2014
  • Awarded - Junior Faculty Travel Award to attend American Association of Immunologists (AAI) annual meeting held at Boston, MA, 2012
  • Awarded National Eye Institute (NEI) travel grant to attend Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) annual meeting held at Fort Lauderdale, FL, 2011
  • Awarded Junior Faculty Travel Award to attend AAI annual meeting held at Baltimore, MD, 2009
  • Awarded Junior Faculty Travel Award to attend AAI annual meeting held at Seattle, WA, 200
  • Awarded Prestigious Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Travel award to attend Keystone Symposium on Immunologic Memory at Santa Fe, NM, 2007
  • nvited to give a talk in minisymposium on The Untapped Immunomodulating Potential of Neuropeptides at 2013 ARVO (The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) meeting held at Seattle, Washington from May 5-9 2013
  • Invited to give a talk on Rediscovering the pathogenesis of herpetic stromal keratitis at Allergan Pharmaceuticals, Irvin, CA, 2011
  • Invited to give a talk on Substance P, a double edge sword in herpes viral infection at Neuroimmunology lecture series of The University of Michigan School of Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI, 2011


The Suvas laboratory studies the immunity and pathogenesis to herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) infection. Recurrent corneal infection with HSV-1 causes herpes stromal keratitis (HSK), a major cause of infection-induced blindness in the United States and worldwide. HSK is an immunopathological condition, which causes scarring and angiogenesis of the infected cornea. Our lab employs a combination of flow cytometric, immunohistochemical, cellular and molecular biology based approaches to address the pathogenesis of corneal HSV-1 infection. We are currently using a mouse model of HSV-1 infection to understand the role of neuropeptides in regulating inflammation at the ocular surface system and in trigeminal ganglia during lytic and latent phase of infection. In addition, we are also studying the role of hypoxia inducible factors (HIFs) and its downstream target genes in the pathogenesis of HSK. By understanding factors involved in regulating chronic inflammation, we expect to contribute novel information to the better management of HSK.

Links of Interest

Kresge Eye Institute

Selected Publications

  • Gaddipati S, Estrada K, Rao P, Jerome A and Suvas S (2015). IL-2/anti-IL-2 complex treatment inhibits the development but not the progression of herpetic stromal keratitis. J Immunol. 194 (1): 273-82.
  • Alazabi FA, Zohdy, MA and Suvas S (2013). Parameter estimation from experimental laboratory data of HSV-1 by using alternative regression method. Systems and Synthetic Biology. 7(14): 151-60.
  • Channappanavar R, Twardy BS and Suvas S (2012). Blocking of PDL-1 interaction enhances primary and secondary CD8 T cell response to herpes simplex virus-1 infection. PLoS One. 7(7): e39757.
  • Twardy BS, Channappanavar R, Suvas S (2011). Substance P in the corneal stroma regulates the severity of herpetic stromal keratitis lesions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 4; 52(12): 8604-13.
  • Channappanavar R, Twardy BS, Krishna P and Suvas S (2009). Advancing age leads to predominance of inhibitory receptor expressing CD4 T cells. Mech Ageing Dev 130 (10):  709-12.
  • Susmit Suvas (2008). Advancing age and immune cell dysfunction: is it reversible or not? Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 8 (5): 657-68.

PubMed Link