Shaw M. Akula

Shaw M. Akula

Associate Professor

B.V.Sc., Veterinary College and Research Institute, India
M.V.Sc., Madras Veterinary College, India
Ph.D., South Dakota State University

Phone: 252-744-2702
Fax: 252-744-3104


Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) or human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), a member of the γ2-herpesvirus family, is involved in the pathogenesis of Kaposi's sarcoma (KS), primary effusion lymphoma and a subset of multicentric Castleman disease.KSHV was first described in KS lesion by representational difference analysis.KSHV associated diseases occur in HIV negative as well as HIV positive patients around the world.KS is often times referred to as AIDS-defining illness.Advances in virus biology (includes both herpesviruses and others) have been made by the use of virus specific target cells and analyzing different stages of the virus infectious process, critical signaling cascades induced by the virus, and those cellular signals that benefit the virus infection. However, there is very little research performed on the effect of such cellular signals on virus entry, infection, and pathogenesis.My labs primary focus is on,

  • Understanding the manner by which cellular proteins alter KSHV infection and mediated pathogenesis.
  • Understanding the manner by which cellular signaling alter the milieu in HIV infected patients critical to the development of KS.

The long term goals will be aimed at (1) understanding certain unexplained facets of the virus biology; and (2) developing anti-viral/anti-cancer therapies based on targeting specific signaling molecule(s).


Popular works

A GUIDE to PhD Success. Akula SM. 2012.

Scientific peer-reviewed works

Grange, P., Gressier, L., Williams, J.F., Dyson, O.F., Akula, S.M., and Dupin, N. 2012. Cloning a human saliva-derived peptide for preventing KSHV transmission. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 132(6):1733-5.

Dyson, O.F., Walker, L.R., Whitehouse, A., Cook, P.P., and Akula S.M. 2012. Resveratrol Inhibits KSHV Reactivation by Lowering the Levels of Cellular EGR-1. PLoS One 7(3):e33364.

Lee, N-S., Barber, L., Akula, S.M., Sigounas, G., Kataria, Y., Arce, S. 2011. Disturbed homeostasis and multiple signaling defects in the peripheral blood B-cell compartment of patients with severe chronic sarcoidosis. Clinical and Vaccine Immunology 18:1306-1316.

Traylen, C.T., Patel, H.R., Fondaw, W., Mahatme, S., Williams, J.F., Walker, L.R., Dyson, O.F., Arce, S., and Akula, S.M. 2011.Virus reactivation: a panoramic view in human infections. Future Virology 6:451-463.

Dyson, O.F., Traylen, C., and Akula, S. M. 2010. Cell membrane bound KSHV encoded gB promotes virus latency by regulating expression of cellular Egr-1. J. Biol. Chem. 285(48):37491-37502.

Dyson, O.F., Ford, P.W., Chen, D., Li, Y-Q., and Akula, S.M. 2009. Raman tweezers provide the fingerprint of cells supporting the late stages of KSHV reactivation. J. Cell. Mol. Med. 13:1920-1932.

Whitman, A.G., Dyson, O.F., Lambert, P.J., Oxendine, T.L., Ford, P.W., and Akula, S.M. 2007. Changes occurring on the cell surface during KSHV reactivation. J. Electron Microsc. 56:27-36.

Ford, P.W., Bryan, A.B., Dyson, O.F., Weidner, D.A., Chintalgattu, V., and Akula, S.M. 2006. RAF/MEK/ERK signalling triggers reactivation of Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus latency. J. Gen. Virol. 87:1139-1144.

Bryan, B.A., Dyson, O.F., and Akula, S.M. 2006.Identifying Cellular Genes Crucial for the Reactivation of Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Latency. J. Gen. Virol. 87:519-529.

Akula, S.M., Ford, P.W., Whitman, A.G., Hamden, K.E., Bryan, B.A., Cook, P.P., and McCubrey, J.A. 2005. Raf Induces Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Infected Human B cells. Blood 105(11): 4516-4522.

Hamden, K.H., Ford, P.W., Whitman, A.G., Dyson, O.F., Cheng, S.Y., McCubrey, J.A., and Akula, S.M. 2004.Raf induced Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Augments Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) Infection. J. Virol 78(23):13381-13390.

Akula, S.M.,Ford, P.W., Whitman, A.G., Hamden, K.H., Shelton, J.G., and McCubrey, J.A.2004.Raf promotes human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8/KSHV) infection. Oncogene 23(30):5227-5241.

Akula, S.M., Pramod, N.P., Sharma-Walia, N, Wang, F-Z., Fegley, B., and Chandran, B.2003.Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) Infection of Human Fibroblast Cells Occurs Through Endocytosis. J. Virol. 77(14):7978-7990.

Akula, S.M., Pramod, N.P., Wang, F-Z., and Chandran, B.2002.Integrin alpha3beta1 (CD 49c/29) is a cellular receptor for Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV/HHV-8) entry into the target cells. Cell 108(3):407-419.

View entire list of publications


Name Title Location Phone
Hussein, Hosni Visiting Scholar Brody 5N99 / 136 252-744-2727 or
Williams, John Research Specialist Brody 5N-99 / 136 252-744-2727 or