John J. Bright Ph.D.

Senior Investigator, Neuroscience Research Laboratory, Neuroscience
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, IU School of Medicine
Primary Appointment: Methodist Research Institute

Education

1977-1980B. Sc., Zoology, Madurai Kamaraj University, India
1983-1985M. Sc., Zoology, Madurai Kamaraj University, India
1985-1986M. Phil., Zoology, Madurai Kamaraj University, India
1986-1991Ph. D., Biochemistry, University of Kerala, India
1991-1994Postdoctoral, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India
1994-1998Postdoctoral, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN

Academic Career

1998-1999 Instructor of Neurology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN
1999-2005Assistant Professor of Neurology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN  
2003-2005Assistant Professor of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
2006-2009Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, IU School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
2009-Adjunct Professor of Medicine, IU School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN
2005-Senior Investigator, Neuroscience Research Laboratory, Methodist Research Institute, Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Awards & Honors

  • Advanced postdoctoral fellowship, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, USA, (1996-98)
  • Junior Faculty travel award of the American Association of Immunologists (2003 and 2004)
  • Researcher/Clinician of the month, Functional Medicine Update, a monthly audio Journal synthesized by Jeffrey Bland, Gig Harbor, WA, USA (2006)
  • Regular Member of the American Association of Immunologists, USA, (1999-present)
  • Active Member of the American Association for Cancer Research (2003-present)
  • Member of the International Society of Neuroimmunology (2006-present)
  • Member of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (2006-present)

Current Research

My laboratory investigates the mechanisms in the regulation of growth, immune and inflammatory responses relevant to multiple sclerosis, cancer and stem cells of the brain. We use a combination of cell biology, immunology, molecular biology and bioinformatics techniques in vitro and in relevant transgenic and knockout mouse models in vivo. Our research has been funded by National Institutes of Health, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and other foundations. Our findings have been published extensively.

Neuroimmunology

Brain is an immune privileged site nevertheless a breakdown in the immune-regulatory system leads to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) and other inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). We study the role of cytokines in the pathogenesis of MS and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We determine the regulation of immune and inflammatory signaling network in EAE/MS. We examine the use of nuclear receptors and nutraceuticals in the treatment of EAE/MS and other CNS diseases.

Select publications

  1. Walline CC, Kanakasabai S and Bright JJ. 2011. Interleukin 7 receptor a confers susceptibility to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Genes and Immunity, IL-7Ra confers susceptibility to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Genes Immun. 12:1-14.
  2. Kanakasabai S, Walline CC, and Bright JJ. 2011. PPARd deficient mice develop elevated Th1/Th17 responses and prolonged experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Brain Res. 1376:101-12.
  3. Kanakasabai S, Chearwae W, Walline CC, Iams W, Adams SM, and Bright JJ. 2010. PPARg agonists inhibit Th1 and Th17 responses in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. Immunology. 130:572-88.
  4. Muthian G, Raikwar H P, Rajasingh J, and Bright JJ. 2006. 1,25 Dihydroxyvitamin-D3 modulates JAK-STAT pathway in L-12/IFNg axis leading to Th1 response in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. J Neurosci Res. 83:1299-309.
  5. Kanakasabai S, Eli C, Walline CC, Mo C, Chearwae W and Bright JJ. 2012. Differential regulation of CD4+ T helper cell responses by curcumin in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J Nutrition Biochem.  J Nutr Biochem. 23:1498-507.

Stem cell biology

Brain has limited ability to regenerate lost cells and repair function in the CNS. Neural stem cells are a small population of resident stem cells in the brain. We isolate neural stem cells and study their potential to promote CNS repair in EAE/MS. We also isolate brain tumor stem cells and study their self-renewal and drug resistance properties. We study the mechanism of immune evasion in brain tumor stem cells. We also examine the use of nuclear receptors and nutraceuticals to regulate normal and cancer stem cells in the brain.

Select Publications

  1. Rajasingh J and Bright JJ. 2006. 15-Deoxy-∆12,14-ProstaglandinJ2 regulates leukemia inhibitory factor signaling through JAK-STAT pathway in mouse embryonic stem cells. Exp Cell Res. 312: 2538-46.
  2. Kanakasabai S, Pestereva E, Chearwae W, Gupta SK, Ansari S, Bright JJ. 2012. PPARg agonists promote oligodendrocyte differentiation of neural stem cells by modulating stemness and differentiation genes. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50500.
  3. Chearwae W and Bright JJ. 2008. PPARg agonists inhibit growth and expansion of CD133+ brain tumor stem cells. British J. Cancer. 99, 2044–2053.
  4. Pestereva E, Kanakasabai S and Bright JJ. 2012. PPARg agonists regulate the expression of stemness and differentiation genes in brain tumor stem cells. Br J Cancer. 106:1702-12.
  5. Chakraborthy S, Kanakasabai S, and Bright JJ, 2011. Constitutive androstane receptor agonist CITCO inhibits growth and expansion of brain tumor stem cells. Br J Cancer. 104:448-59.