• Alexander J. Szalai, PhD (Alex) has a long history of excellence in research and a strong record of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense, and various private foundations.. He is internationally recognized for his work on the biology of C-reactive protein and its contribution to the maintenance of health, the propagation of disease, and the tissue response to injury. In addition to his research activities, Alex has excelled at teaching and has made significant contributions to UAB education at all levels. Currently he serves as the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology’s Associate Director for Research. He also serves on the Department of Medicine Research Development Group, the School of Medicine Faculty Council, and the UAB University Wide Grievance and Termination Committee.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title Altmetric
    2021 Decreased Levels of STAT1 and Interferon-γ-Induced STAT1 Phosphorylation in Rheumatoid Arthritis CD4 and CD8 T Cells.Acr Open Rheumatology.  3:277-283. 2021
    2016 C-reactive protein exacerbates renal ischemia-reperfusion injury: Are myeloid-derived suppressor cells to blame? 2016
    2016 Human C-reactive protein impedes entry of leptin into the CNS and attenuates its physiological actions in the CNSBiochemical Journal.  473:1215-1224. 2016
    2015 Effects of the dietary ω3:ω6 fatty acid ratio on body fat and inflammation in zebrafish (Danio rerio) 2015
    2015 Hepatic but not CNS-expressed human C-reactive protein inhibits experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in transgenic miceAutoimmune Diseases.  2015. 2015
    2014 C-reactive protein promotes acute kidney injury by impairing G1/S-dependent tubular epithelium cell regenerationClinical Science.  126:645-659. 2014
    2014 Estrogen effects on vascular inflammation are age dependent: Role of estrogen receptors 2014
    2013 Multiple lupus-associated ITGAM variants alter mac-1 functions on neutrophilsArthritis and Rheumatism.  65:2907-2916. 2013
    2013 C-reactive protein exacerbates renal ischemia-reperfusion injury 2013
    2011 Inhibition of Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in human C-reactive protein transgenic mice is FcγRIIB dependentAutoimmune Diseases.  1. 2011
    2011 An about-face for C-reactive protein? 2011
    2011 C-reactive protein promotes diabetic kidney disease in a mouse model of type 1 diabetesDiabetologia.  54:2713-2723. 2011
    2011 Collagen-induced arthritis is exacerbated in C-reactive protein-deficient miceArthritis and Rheumatism.  63:2641-2650. 2011
    2010 C-reactive protein-mediated vascular injury requires complement 2010
    2009 The role of C-reactive protein polymorphisms in inflammation and cardiovascular riskCurrent Atherosclerosis Reports.  11:124-130. 2009
    2008 Impaired endothelial function in C-reactive protein overexpressing miceAtherosclerosis.  201:318-325. 2008
    2008 Neointimal formation is reduced after arterial injury in human crp transgenic miceAtherosclerosis.  201:85-91. 2008
    2008 Exaggerated neointima formation in human C-reactive protein transgenic mice is IgG Fc receptor type I (FcγRI)-dependentAmerican Journal of Pathology.  172:22-30. 2008
    2007 C-reactive protein polymorphism and Crohn's disease [1]Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics.  25:519. 2007
    2006 Complement and demyelinating disease: No MAC needed?Brain Research Reviews.  52:58-68. 2006
    2006 Experimental autoimmune uveitis in the C57BL/6 mouseExperimental Eye Research.  83:229-230. 2006
    2006 Genetic deficiency of C3 as well as CNS-targeted expression of the complement inhibitor sCrry ameliorates experimental autoimmune uveoretinitisExperimental Eye Research.  82:389-394. 2006
    2005 Requirement of the Fc receptor common γ-chain for γδ T cell-mediated promotion of murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitisEuropean Journal of Immunology.  35:3487-3492. 2005
    2005 Estrogen treatment abrogates neointima formation in human C-reactive protein transgenic mice 2005
    2005 No effect of C-reactive protein on early atherosclerosis development in apolipoprotein E*3-Leiden/human C-reactive protein transgenic mice 2005
    2005 Effect of low dose atorvastatin versus diet-induced cholesterol lowering on atherosclerotic lesion progression and inflammation in apolipoprotein E*3-Leiden transgenic mice 2005
    2004 Control of spontaneous B lymphocyte autoimmunity with adenovirus-encoded soluble TACIArthritis and Rheumatism.  50:1884-1896. 2004
    2004 Evidence for anti-inflammatory activity of statins and PPARα activators in human C-reactive protein transgenic mice in vivo and in cultured human hepatocytes in vitroBlood.  103:4188-4194. 2004
    2004 C-Reactive Protein Accelerates the Progression of Atherosclerosis in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient MiceCirculation.  109:647-655. 2004
    2004 Delayed onset of renal disease in mice expressing a human C-reactive protein transgene: Comment on the article by Szalai et al [4] (multiple letters)Arthritis and Rheumatism.  50:679-680. 2004
    2003 Increased thrombosis after arterial injury in human C-reactive protein-transgenic miceCirculation.  108:512-515. 2003
    2003 Delayed lupus onset in (NZB × NZW)F1 mice expressing a human C-reactive protein transgeneArthritis and Rheumatism.  48:1602-1611. 2003
    1997 Serum anti-LPS antibody production by rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in response to the administration of free and liposomally-incorporated LPS from Aeromonas salmonicidaFish and Shellfish Immunology.  7:387-401. 1997
    1994 Changes in serum concentrations of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus Rafinesque) phosphorylcholine-reactive protein (PRP) in response to inflammatory agents, low temperature-shock and infection by the fungus Saprolegnia spFish and Shellfish Immunology.  4:323-336. 1994
    1992 Chelation affects the conformation, lability and aggregation of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) phosphorylcholine-reactive protein (PRP)Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B: Comparative Biochemistry.  102:545-550. 1992
    1992 Isolation of an acute-phase phosphorylcholine-reactive pentraxin from channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus)Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B: Comparative Biochemistry.  102:535-543. 1992
    1992 Winter saprolegniosis in channel catfishDiseases of Aquatic Organisms.  13:155-164. 1992
    1991 Channel catfish CRP: Ca++ induces resistance to denaturation and promotes aggregationDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology.  15. 1991
    1991 Phylogeny of lymphocyte heterogeneity: Evidence for tsuppressor cells in the channel catfishDevelopmental and Comparative Immunology.  15. 1991


    Year Title Altmetric
    2009 C-reactive protei and cardiovascular disease: Lessons learned from studying genetically engineered mice.  83-116. 2009

    Research Overview

  • To understand the contribution of C-reactive protein (CRP) to the maintenance of health and the propagation of disease: Employing a multi-faceted and translational approach that entails studies of CRP biology in transgenic and knockout mice, bolstered by studies with human cells and human DNA, my research is aimed at revealing the causal pathways that might explain CRP’s genetic and phenotypic associations with health and disease. Among the diseases of past interest in my research laboratory are systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, arterio-venous fistula failure, neointima generation, thrombosis, acute kidney injury, and a variety of infectious diseases. Current projects are centered on understanding the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus and acute kidney injury. Our efforts have contributed to the development and successful clinical testing of a novel CRP lowering drug. Ligand-bound CRP activates the complement system and binds Fc receptors, therefore we also routinely study these two effector pathways. Currently we are dissecting the contribution of CRP to tonic suppression of T cell mediated immunity in breast cancer, a process that involves CRP-mediated regulation of the kinase GSK3 beta and myeloid derived suppressor cells
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy Level Degree in Zoology / Animal Biology, 1990
  • Full Name

  • Alexander Szalai