Smita S. Iyer, MS, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Pathology, Division of Experimental Pathology

Dr. Iyer is a member of the Division of Experimental Pathology and the Cellular and Molecular Pathology Graduate Training Program.

Research Interests

Dr. Smita Iyer is an infectious disease immunologist whose research delves into the intricacies of CD4 T cells, exploring their role in antibody responses and in neuroinflammation caused by viruses like HIV, CMV, and SARS-CoV-2. Her lab is dedicated to understanding the immune responses that drive the development of long-lasting antibodies, while also uncovering the cellular causes of neuroinflammation in individuals with HIV-associated cognitive disorders.

Dr. Iyer is Affiliate Scientist in the Infectious Disease Unit at the California National Primate Research Center and visiting faculty in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at the School of Veterinary Medicine in UC Davis.

Representative Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

View Dr. Iyer’s publications on PubMed.

  •  Milligan EC, Olstad K, Williams CA, Mallory M, Cano P, Cross KA, Munt JE, Garrido C, Lindesmith L, Watanabe J, Usachenko JL, Hopkins L, Immareddy R, Lakshmanappa YS, Elizaldi SR, ... Iyer SS, Van Rompay KKA, Permar S, De Paris K. Protection of SARS-CoV-2 immunized infant rhesus macaques against lung inflammation after heterologous virus challenge one year later. Science Translational Medicine, 2022 (In Press) 
  • Beckman D, Bonillas A, Diniz GB, Ott S, Roh JW, Elizaldi SR, Schmidt BA, Sammak RL, Koen Van Rompay KKA, Iyer SS, Morrison JH.  SARS-CoV-2 infects neurons and induces neuroinflammation in a non-human primate model of COVID-19. Cell Reports, 2022 (In Press)
  • Hawes CE, Elizaldi SR, Beckman D, Diniz GB, Shaan Lakshmanappa Y, Ott S, Durbin-Johnson BP, Dinasarapu AR, Gompers A, Morrison JH, Iyer SS. Neuroinflammatory transcriptional programs induced in rhesus pre-frontal cortex white matter during acute SHIV infection. J Neuroinflammation. 2022 Oct 6;19(1):250.
  • Verma A, Hawes CE, Lakshmanappa YS, Roh JW, Schmidt BA, Dutra J, Louie W, Liu H, Ma ZM, Watanabe JK, Usachenko JL, Immareddy R, Sammak RL, Pollard R, Reader JR, Olstad KJ, Coffey LL, Kozlowski PA, Hartigan-O'Connor DJ, Nussenzweig M, Van Rompay KKA, Morrison JH, Iyer SS. 2021. Monoclonal antibodies protect aged rhesus macaques from SARS-CoV-2-induced immune activation and neuroinflammation. Cell Rep 37:109942.
  • Lakshmanappa YS, Roh JW, Rane NN, Dinasarapu AR, Tran DD, Velu V, Sheth AN, Ofotokun I, Amara RR, Kelley CF, Waetjen E, Iyer SS. Circulating integrin α4 β7 + CD4 T cells are enriched for proliferative transcriptional programs in HIV infection. FEBS Lett. 2021 Jul 19. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.14163. Online ahead of print.
  • Weber M, Walters-Laird C, Kol A, Santos Rocha C, Hirao LA, Mende A, Balan B, Arrendondo J, Elizaldi S, Iyer SS, Tarantal A, Dandekar S. Gut germinal center regeneration and enhanced anti-viral immunity by mesenchymal stem/stromal cells in SIV infection. JCI Insight, 202; 6 (12):e149033
  • Lakshmanappa YS,  Elizaldi SR,  Roh JW, Schmidt BA, Carroll TD, Weaver KD, Smith JC, Verma A, Deere J J Dutra J, Stone M, Franz S, Sammak RL, Olstad KJ, Reader JR, Ma ZM, Nguyen NK, Watanabe J, Usachaenko J, Immareddy R, Yee JL Weiskopf D, Sette A, Hartigan-O’Connor D McSorley SJ, Morrison JH, Tran NK, Simmons G, Busch MP, Kozlowski PA, Rompay KKV, Miller CJ, Iyer SS. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces robust germinal center CD4 T follicular helper cell responses. Nature Communications, 12:541,2021