Suhail Akhtar, PhD

Assistant Professor

Work: (660) 626.2624
Fax: (660) 626.2981
Email Address:

Research Interests: The human gut microbiota consists of trillions of bacteria. These bacteria are key to many aspects of human health including immune function. Several factors e.g., alcohol, major trauma and certain diseased conditions alter the composition of gut microbiota and can also affect the immune system. These changes may be associated with gut inflammation and disruption of intestinal epithelial barrier. This can lead to translocation of bacteria and/or their products from the intestinal lumen into the circulation resulting in systemic inflammation and tissue damage. The focus of my research is to identify the molecular mechanisms of gut barrier dysfunction following major trauma, alcohol exposure, and under certain diseased conditions. I am also interested in determining the relationship between imbalance in gut microbial composition (dysbiosis), gut mucosal immunity and epithelial barrier function.


Research Associate - Northwestern University, Chicago, IL (2019)
PhD - Biochemistry, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India (2005)
MS - Biotechnology, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India (2000)
BS - Biochemistry, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India (1997)

Scholarly Activity

Research Publications:

2019 | Younge N, McCann JR, Ballard J, Plunkett C, Akhtar S, Araújo-Pérez F, Murtha A, Brandon D, Seed PC. Fetal exposure to the maternal microbiota in humans and mice. JCI Insight. 2019 Sep 3. pii: 127806. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.127806. PMID:31479427. PubMed

2019 | Dellacecca ER, Cosgrove C, Mukhatayev Z, Akhtar S, Engelhard VH, Rademaker AW, Knight K, Le Poole IC. Antibiotics drive microbial imbalance and vitiligo development in mice. J Invest Dermatol. 2019 Aug 28. pii: S0022-202X(19)33153-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.08.435. PMID: 31472106. PubMed

2019 | Siddiqui MR, Akhtar S, Shahid M, Tauseef M, McDonough K, Shanley TP. miR-144-mediated Inhibition of ROCK1 Protects against LPS-induced Lung Endothelial Hyperpermeability. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2019 Aug;61(2):257-265. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2018-0235OC. PMID: 30811958. PubMed

2016 | Cannon AR, Akhtar S, Hammer AM, Morris NL, Javorski MJ, Li X, Kennedy RH, Gamelli RL, Choudhry MA. Effects of Mesalamine Treatment on Gut Barrier Integrity After Burn Injury. J Burn Care Res. 2016 Sep-Oct;37(5):283-92. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0000000000000396. PMID: 27388883. PubMed

2016 | Wang P, Du C, Chen FX, Li CQ, Yu YB, Han T, Akhtar S, Zuo XL, Tan XD, Li YQ. BDNF contributes to IBS-like colonic hypersensitivity via activating the enteroglia-nerve unit. Sci Rep. 2016 Feb 3;6:20320. doi: 10.1038/srep20320. PMID:26837784. PubMed

2015 | Earley ZM, Akhtar S, Green SJ, Naqib A, Khan O, Cannon AR, Hammer AM, Morris NL, Li X, Eberhardt JM, Gamelli RL, Kennedy RH, Choudhry MA. Burn Injury Alters the Intestinal Microbiome and Increases Gut Permeability and Bacterial Translocation. PLoS One. 2015 Jul 8;10(7):e0129996. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129996. eCollection 2015. PMID: 26154283. PubMed

2015 | Jabir NR, Firoz CK, Baeesa SS, Ashraf GM, Akhtar S, Kamal W, Kamal MA, Tabrez S. Synopsis on the linkage of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease with chronic diseases. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2015 Jan;21(1):1-7. doi: 10.1111/cns.12344. Epub 2014 Nov 15. PMID: 25399848. PubMed

2013 | Khan MA, Moeez S, Akhtar S. T-regulatory cell-mediated immune tolerance as a potential immunotherapeutic strategy to facilitate graft survival. Blood Transfus. 2013 Jul;11(3):357-63. doi: 10.2450/2013.0258-12. PMID: 23736920. PubMed

2013 | Sigman M, Conrad P, Rendon JL, Akhtar S, Eberhardt J, Gamelli RL, Choudhry MA. Noninvasive measurement of intestinal inflammation after burn injury. J Burn Care Res. 2013 Nov-Dec;34(6):633-8. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e318280e2f8. PMID: 23511286. PubMed

2013 | Rendon JL, Li X, Akhtar S, Choudhry MA. Interleukin-22 modulates gut epithelial and immune barrier functions following acute alcohol exposure and burn injury. Shock. 2013 Jan;39(1):11-8. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0b013e3182749f96. PMID: 23143063. PubMed

2012 | Li X, Rendon JL, Akhtar S, Choudhry MA. Activation of toll-like receptor 2 prevents suppression of T-cell interferon γ production by modulating p38/extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathways following alcohol and burn injury. Mol Med. 2012 Sep 7;18:982-91. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2011.00513. PMID: 22634720. PubMed

2012 | Li X, Akhtar S, Choudhry MA. Alteration in intestine tight junction protein phosphorylation and apoptosis is associated with increase in IL-18 levels following alcohol intoxication and burn injury. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2012 Feb;1822(2):196-203. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2011.09.019. Epub 2011 Oct 7. PMID: 22001439. PubMed

2011 | Akhtar S, Choudhry MA. Gut inflammation in response to injury: potential target for therapeutic intervention. Recent Pat Antiinfect Drug Discov. 2011 Sep 1;6(3):206-15. PMID: 21824071. PubMed

2011 | Li X, Akhtar S, Kovacs EJ, Gamelli RL, Choudhry MA. Inflammatory response in multiple organs in a mouse model of acute alcohol intoxication and burn injury. J Burn Care Res. 2011 Jul-Aug;32(4):489-97. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e3182223c9e. PMID: 21593683. PubMed

2011 | Akhtar S, Li X, Kovacs EJ, Gamelli RL, Choudhry MA. Interleukin-18 delays neutrophil apoptosis following alcohol intoxication and burn injury. Mol Med. 2011 Jan-Feb;17(1-2):88-94. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2010.00080. PMID: 20844839. PubMed

2009 | Akhtar S, Li X, Chaudry IH, Choudhry MA. Neutrophil chemokines and their role in IL-18-mediated increase in neutrophil O2- production and intestinal edema following alcohol intoxication and burn injury. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2009 Aug;297(2):G340-7. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00044.2009. PMID: 19497959. PubMed

Books, Chapters, and Reviews:

2014 | Akhtar S, Wang S, Bu HF, Tan XD. Role of MFG-E8 in protection of intestinal epithelial barrier function and attenuation of intestinal inflammation. MFG-E8 and inflammation, Chapter 3. Wang, Ping (Ed), page 55-63, 2014. Publisher: Springer Netherlands.