Shivashankar Othy, DVM, Ph.D.


Shiva is a Project Scientist in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics and In-charge of the Intravital Microscopy facility of the Immunoimaging lab led by Francesco Marangoni. Shiva develops customized multiscale immunoimaging technologies to visualize immune processes covering the entire range of spatial scales, from the multi-millimeter sized organ-wide imaging to micron-sized cell-cell contacts to subcellular signaling domains for various projects at the Institute for Immunology.

Research Interests

Our immune system is a powerful network of lymphocytes and molecules help us to fight against pathogens and control aberrant tissue responses. However, misfiring of the immune system can lead to an array of autoimmune disorders e.g multiple sclerosis. During doctoral thesis with Prof. Srini Kaveri at UPMC Paris, Using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), Shiva has shown that intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg) delays the onset of EAE and decreases the severity of the disease by reciprocally regulating CD4 T cell subsets, decreasing their encephalitogenicity and inhibiting their trafficking to the CNS through the sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P)-mTOR pathway.

Regulatory T cells control lymphocytes, in turn immune responses through mechanisms that remain incompletely defined. Lymphocytes are highly dynamic and their functions are intricately associated with cell migration. Knowing the migratory behavior of cells within living tissues is critical to fully understand how immune responses are regulated. Therefore, Shiva is using multiphoton microscopy to probe the real-time behavior of lymphocytes along with regulatory T cells in physiological settings. He identified that the altered cellular choreography of Tregs through CTLA4-based interactions to limit T-cell priming, which is essential for the manipulation of Treg-based therapeutic strategies for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. Shiva showed that calcium (Ca2+) signals guide the movement of T cells. More importantly, Ca2+ reporter mice, Salsa6f, is a powerful tool to comprehensively investigate Ca2+ signaling in cells, which will help to link the inner workings of cells to their behaviors in many different organ systems. Currently, Shiva is focused on cellular behavior of regulatory T cells and effector T cells in an animal model of multiple sclerosis.

Recent publications




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