MGB_SB Group

Our research is carried out in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UTMB. The laboratory is co-directed by Drs. Bradrick and Garcia-Blanco and is focused on two areas of biomedical importance: (i) host-pathogen interactions involving pathogenic flaviviruses such as dengue, yellow fever and zika viruses, and (ii) alternative splicing regulation of the interleukin-7 receptor alpha (IL7Rα) pre-mRNA and its connection to autoimmunity, especially in the context of multiple sclerosis.



  • School: University of Houston-Downtown
  • Major: Biology with Concentration in Microbiology
  • Degree:B.S.
  • Year Graduated: 2015
Bio & Experiences

I am interested in studying the mechanisms of subversion of host innate immune pathways by dengue and zika virus. I am currently studying the type III interferon response to infection and aim at investigating the mechanisms by which these two viruses turn off and/or overcome this immune response.


Galarza-Muñoz G, Briggs FB, Evsyukova I, Schott-Lerner G, Kennedy EM, Nyanhete T, Wang L, Bergamaschi L, Widen SG, Tomaras GD, Ko DC, Bradrick SS, Barcellos LF, Gregory SG, Garcia-Blanco MA. Human Epistatic Interaction Controls IL7R Splicing and Increases Multiple Sclerosis Risk. Cell. 2017 Mar 23;169(1):72-84.e13. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.03.007. PMID: 28340352

N.J. Barrows, R.K. Campos, S.T. Powell, K.R. Prasanth, G. Schott-Lerner, R. Soto-Acosta, G. Galarza-Munoz, E.L. McGrath, R. Urrabaz-Garza, J. Gao, P. Wu, R. Menon, G. Saade, I. Fernandez-Salas, S.L. Rossi, N. Vasilakis, A. Routh, S.S. Bradrick*, M.A. Garcia-Blanco* (2016). A screen of FDA-approved drugs for inhibitors of Zika virus infection. Cell Host & Microbe, doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.07.004. [Epub ahead of print] *corresponding authors

Minato Hirano

  • School: Hokkaido University
  • Major: Veterinary Science
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Year Graduated: 2018
  • School: Hokkaido University
  • Major: Veterinary Medicine
  • Degree: D.V.M.
  • Year Graduated: 2014
Awards and Honorable mentions
  • Oversea Postdoctoral Fellowship, Uehara Memorial Foundation (2018-Present)
  • Research Fellowship for Young Scientists (DC-1), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (2015-2018)
  • Scholarship, One Health Leading Graduate School program, Hokkaido University (2014-2015)
Bio & Experiences

My research interest is molecular pathology of disease caused by disruption of RNA and RNA-binding Protein interaction. During my graduate education, I have experience working with neurotropic flaviviruses, including Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, and Tick-borne encephalitis virus. As a postdoctoral fellow in Bradrick/Garcia-Blanco lab Currently, I am working on the projects of alternative splicing on immune-dysfunction in multiple sclerosis and tumor.


M Nakayasu, M Hirano, M Muto, S Kobayashi, H Kariwa, K Yoshii*. Development of a serodiagnostic IgM-ELISA against tick-borne encephalitis virus using subviral particles with strep-tag (2018) Ticks Tick Borne Dis., 9(6):1391-1394. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2018.06.010.

M Muto, W Kamitani, M Sakai, M Hirano, S Kobayashi, H Kariwa, K Yoshii*. Identification and analysis of host proteins that interact with the 3’ untranslated region of tick-borne encephalitis virus genomic RNA. (2018) Virus Res. 249:52-56. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2018.03.006.

M Hirano, M Muto, M Sakai, H Kondo, S Kobayashi, H Kariwa, K Yoshii*. Dendritic transport of tick-borne flavivirus RNA by neuronal granules affects development of neurological disease. (2017) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 114(37):9960-9965. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1704454114

L Eyer, H Kondo, D Zouharova, M Hirano, JJ Valdés, M Muto, T Kastl, S Kobayashi, J Haviernik, M Igarashi, H Kariwa, M Vaculovicova, J Cerny, R Kizek, A Kröger, S Lienenklaus, M Dejmek, R Nencka, M Palus, J Salat,E De Clercq, K Yoshii, D Ruzek*. Escape of tick-borne flavivirus from 2′-C-methylated nucleoside antivirals is mediated by a single conservative mutation in NS5 that has a dramatic effect on viral fitness. (2017) J Virol. 91:e01028-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01028-17.

S Kobayashi*, K Yoshii, M Hirano, M Muto, H Kariwa. A novel reverse genetics system for production of infectious West Nile virus using homologous recombination in mammalian cells. (2017) J Virol Methods. 2017;240:14-20. doi:10.1016/j.jviromet.2016.11.006.

E Inagaki, M Sakai, M Hirano, M Muto, S Kobayashi, H Kariwa, K Yoshii*. Development of a serodiagnostic multi-species ELISA against tick-borne encephalitis virus using subviral particles. (2016) Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2016;7(5):723-729. doi:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2016.03.002.

M Sakai, M Muto, M Hirano, H Kariwa, K Yoshii*. Virulence of tick-borne encephalitis virus is associated with intact conformational viral RNA structures in the variable region of the 3′-UTR. Virus Res. 2015;203:36-40. doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2015.03.006.

M Hirano, K Yoshii*, M Sakai, R Hasebe, O Ichii, H Kariwa. Tick-borne flaviviruses alter membrane structure and replicate in dendrites of primary mouse neuronal cultures. (2014) J Gen Virol. 2014;95(Pt_4):849-861. doi:10.1099/vir.0.061432-0.

M Sakai, K Yoshii*, Y Sunden, K Yokozawa, M Hirano, H Kariwa. Variable region of the 3’ UTR is a critical virulence factor in the Far-Eastern subtype of tick-borne encephalitis virus in a mouse model. (2014) J Gen Virol. 2014;95(Pt_4):823-835. doi:10.1099/vir.0.060046-0.


  • School: National Chung-Hsing University, Taiwan
  • Major: Biotechnology
  • Degree: PhD
  • Year Graduated: 2011
Bio & Experiences

Worked as Postdoctoral fellow at Dept. of Plant pathology, University of Kentucky, USA . Majorly focussing on identification of host players in Tombusvirus replication and recombination and to unravel the mechanism.

Awards and Honorable mentions
  • Prasanth K.R and Nagy PD paper was selected as Highlighted manuscripts in Volume 489 by Virology, 2016.
  • MOE scholarship by Ministry of Education, Taiwan, for PhD studies

N.J. Barrows, R.K. Campos, S.T. Powell, K.R. Prasanth, G. Schott-Lerner, R. Soto-Acosta, G. Galarza-Munoz, E.L. McGrath, R. Urrabaz-Garza, J. Gao, P. Wu, R. Menon, G. Saade, I. Fernandez-Salas, S.L. Rossi, N. Vasilakis, A. Routh, S.S. Bradrick*, M.A. Garcia-Blanco* (2016). A screen of FDA-approved drugs for inhibitors of Zika virus infection. Cell Host & Microbe, doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.07.004. [Epub ahead of print] *corresponding authors

Muhammad Shah Nawaz-ul-Rehman#; K. Reddisiva Prasanth#; Kai Xu#; Zsuzsanna Sasvari #; Nikolay Kovalev; Isabel Fernandez de Castro Martin; daniel Barajas; Cristina Risco; Peter D. Nagy. Viral replication protein inhibits cellular cofilin actin depolymerization factor to regulate the actin network and promote viral replicase assembly. PLoS Pathogen (#Equal contribution).PLoS Pathog. 2016 Feb 10;12(2):e1005440.

K. Reddisiva Prasanth, Nikolay Kovalev, De castro Martin IF, Jannie Baker, Peter D. Nagy. Screening a yeast library of temperature sensitive mutants reveal a role for Actin in tombusvirus recombination. Virology. 2016 Feb;489:233-42.

K. Reddisiva Prasanth, Daniel Barajas, Peter D. Nagy. The proteasomal Rpn11 metalloprotease suppresses tombusvirus RNA recombination and promotes viral replication via facilitating the assembly of the viral replicase complex. Journal of Virology 2015 Mar;89(5):2750-63.

Chingkai Chuang, K. Reddisiva Prasanth, Peter D. Nagy. Coordinated function of cellular DEAD-box helicases in suppression of viral RNA recombination PLoS Pathogen. 2015 Feb 18;11(2):e1004680.

K. Reddisiva Prasanth, Ying-Wen Huang, Ming-Ru Liou, Robert Yung-Liang Wang, Chung-Chi Hu, Ching-Hsiu Tsai, Menghsiao Meng, Na-Sheng Lin, and Yau-Heiu Hsu. Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) negatively regulates the replication of Bamboo mosaic virus and its associated satellite RNA. Journal of Virology, Sept. 2011, p. 8829-8840.

Nawaz-ul-Rehman MS, Reddisiva Prasanth K, Baker J, Nagy PD. Yeast screens for host factors in positive-strand RNA virus replication based on a library of temperature-sensitive mutants. Methods. 2013 Feb; 59(2):207-16.

Priya Balakrishnan#, K. Reddi Sivaprasanth#, V. Dhivya Jensi, L. Uma, G. Subramanian and D. Prabaharan. (2010) Characterization of manganese superoxide dismutase gene from a marine cyanobacterium Leptolyngbya valderiana BDU20041. Saline systems 6: 6 (#Equal contribution).


  • School: Duke University- Mascot Branch
  • Major: General Mascoting
  • Degree: PhD
  • Year Graduated: 2014
  • School: Mascot University
  • Major: Communications
  • Degree: B.S.
  • Year Graduated: 2007
Awards and Honorable mentions
  • MGB Lab- Best Mascot-2016
  • Mascot of the Year-2015
  • Best Wingman - 2015

Previous Lab Personnel
  • Ruben Soto-Acosta
  • Victoria Margarita Medina Carbonell
  • Nicholas J. Barrows - Post Doc at St. Judes
  • Steven Powell - Student
  • Shoko Nakamura
  • Gaddiel Galarza-Munoz
  • Rafael K. Campos