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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address FOT 1220 Zip 3412
Phone  (205) 934-7667
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Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology Professor
Secondary  Neurology   Neurology Chair Office Professor
Secondary  OB/GYN   OB/GYN Chair Office Professor
Secondary  Physiology & Biophysics (Org Ret)  Physiology & Biophysics (Org Ret) Professor
Center  Neurology   Alzheimer's Disease Center Professor
Center  Pathology   Cell Adhesion & Matrix Research Center Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor
Center  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering  Center for Biophysical Sciences/Engineering Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Center for Women's Reproductive Health Professor
Center  Civitan International Research Center  Civitan International Research Center Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Comprehensive Neuroscience Center Professor
Center  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med Professor
Center  Neurology   Ctr Neurodegeneration & Exp Ther (CNET) Professor
Center  Neurology   Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Hughes Med-Grad Fellowship Program 
Integrative Biomedical Sciences 
Medical Scientist Training Program 
Neuroscience Graduate Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Etty (Tika) Benveniste (b. 1956), Alma B. Maxwell UAHSF Endowed Chair; and Professor and Chairman of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, received her Ph.D. in 1983 from UCLA in the field of immunology. During her postdoctoral studies in the Department of Neurology at UCLA, she initiated research which has continued up to this time, on elucidating the mechanisms underlying cytokine/chemokine production by glial cells, and the effects of cytokines/chemokines on glial cell function. Dr. Benveniste has served as the Director, Graduate Program in Cell Biology and as Associate Dean, Office of Postdoctoral Education. She became Chairman of the Cell Biology Department in 2000, Associate Director, Basic Science Research, Comprehensive Cancer Center, in 2006, and Chairman of the newly formed department of CDIB in 2012.

Research/Clinical Interest
Immune/nervous system interactions
Dr. Benveniste's research is directed toward understanding how the immune system and central nervous system (CNS) communicate with each other. Specifically, her laboratory is studying the function of shared cytokines/chemokines between cells of the immune and nervous systems. Astrocytes and microglia, the major glial cells of the CNS, have been shown to act as antigen-presenting cells in the CNS. Dr. Benveniste’s group is examining the mechanisms by which cytokines modulate class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and CD40 proteins on these cells, with a particular emphasis on delineating the transcriptional machinery that drives expression of these genes. The ability of astrocytes and microglia to secrete several immunoregulatory molecules (tumor necrosis factor, interleukin-6, macrophage chemotactic protein-1, interleukin-8) is also being studied, with an emphasis on the biological stimuli that induce these cytokines/chemokines, intracellular signaling events involved in the response, and the molecular mechanisms of gene regulation. These projects will provide a better understanding of how bidirectional communication occurs between the immune and nervous systems, and how these interactions affect the functionality of glial cells. These studies are also relevant to understanding the pathogenesis of several neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease of the CNS, and HIV-1 associated dementia (HAD). Dr. Benveniste has also initiated studies to examine the role of MMPs and IL-8 in astroglioma migration and invasion, and how interferons inhibit these responses at the transcriptional level. In this line of research, her laboratory is examining how interferons inhibit MMP-9 and IL-8 gene expression by utilizing chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays to examine the MMP-9 and IL-8 promoters in vivo. Recent studies in the laboratory are focused on the aberrant activation of two signal transduction pathways in astrogliomas; the JAK-STAT pathway and the NF-kB pathway. It is thought that the dysregulation of these signal transduction pathways contributes to the invasiveness of brain tumors, as well as angiogenic properties. As such, the group is exploring the therapeutic potential of inhibitors of the JAK-STAT and NF-kB pathways to treat brain tumor patients.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Choi, Y-H., Bernardi, R., Pandolfi, P-P., and E.N. Benveniste. 2006. The promyelocytic leukemia protein functions as a negative regulator of IFN-g signaling. Proc. Natl. Acad. U.S.A. 103:18715-18720.   17121994 
Qin, H., Wilson, C.A., Baker, B.J., Zhao, X., and E.N. Benveniste. 2006. IL-10 inhibits LPS-induced CD40 gene expression through induction of SOCS-3. J. Immunol. 177:7761-7771.   17114447 
Nozell, S., Laver, T., Patel, K., and E.N. Benveniste. 2006. Molecular mechanisms underlying IFN-b mediated inhibition of IL-8 gene expression in astrogliomas. J. Immunol. 177:822-830.  16818736 
Qin, H., Wilson, C.A., Lee, S-J, and E.N. Benveniste. 2006. IFN-b-induced SOCS-1 negatively regulates CD40 gene expression in macrophages and microglia. FASEB J. 20:985-987.   16571771 
Qin, H., Wilson, C.A., Lee S.J., Zhao, E., and E.N. Benveniste. 2005. LPS induces CD40 gene expression through the activation of NF-kB and STAT-1a in macrophages and microglia. Blood. 106: 3114-3122.   16020513 
Adamski, J., and E. N. Benveniste. 2005. 17B-estradiol activation of the c-jun n-terminal kinase pathway leads to down-regulation of class II major histocompatibility complex expression. Mol. Endocrinol. 19:113.   15388795 
Ma, Z., Chang, M., Shah R., Adamski, J., and E.N. Benveniste. 2004. Brg-1 is required for maximal transcription of the human MMP-2 gene. J. Biol. Chem.   15317818 
Ma, Z., Shah, R.C., Chang, M.J., and E.N. Benveniste. 2004. Coordination of cell signaling, chromatin remodeling, histone modifications and regulator recruitment in human MMP-9 gene transcription. Mol. Cell. Biol. 24:5496-5509.   15169910 
Adamski, J., Ma, Z., Nozell, S., and E.N. Benveniste. 2004. 17b-estradiol inhibits class II MHC expression: Influence on histone modifications and CBP recruitment to the class II MHC promoter. Mol. Endocrinol. 18:1963-1974.   15143155 
Wesemann D.R., Qin, H., Kokorina, N., and E. N. Benveniste. 2004. TRADD interacts with STAT-1a and influences IFN-g signaling. Nature Immunology. 5:199-207.   14730360 
Repovic, P. and E.N. Benveniste. 2002. PGE2 as a novel inducer of Oncostatin M production in macrophages. J. Neurosci. 22:5334-5343.  12097485 
Nguyen, V.T., and E.N. Benveniste. 2002. Critical role of TNF-a and NF-kB in IFN-g induced CD40 expression in microglia/macrophages. J. Biol Chem. 277:13796-13803.   11830590 
Choi, C., Park, J., Kutsch, O., Zhou, T., Seol, D.-W., and E.N. Benveniste. 2002. Tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) induces caspase-dependent IL-8 expression and apoptosis in human astroglioma cells. Mol. Cell. Biol. 22:724-736.  11784850