Yohannes A. Mebratu, DVM, MS. PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute
473 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
6th Floor | 612 Office
3rd Floor | 310 Lab
Education and Training
Postdoctoral Research: Molecular and Cell Biology of Chronic Lung Diseases, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM
PhD: Molecular Epidemiology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
MS: Veterinary Epidemiology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
DVM: Veterinary Medicine, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
Honors and AwardsMS Scholarship: German Catholic Academic Exchange Program, 1996
PhD Scholarship: German Catholic Academic Exchange Program, 2002
American Thoracic Society Scholarship Award: ATS, 2008
Professional ActivitiesSociety Member, American Thoracic Society (2006 – present).
Society Member, American Heart Association (2011-2013)
Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (2017-2019)
- Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (04/2022-)
- Instructor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (08/2009-03/2022)
- Associate Research Scientist, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM (2008-213)
- Associate Staff Scientist, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM (2013-2019)
- Airway epithelial cell biology in chronic lung diseases
- Respiratory viral infections and lung inflammation
- The role of host cellular proteins in promoting influenza A virus replication and disease severity
- Host responses and host cellular proteins in SARS-CoV-2 virus replication and pathogenesis.
My research program focuses on identification of novel mechanisms how influenza A virus (IAV) hijack and subvert host cellular processes to facilitate viral replication since this information will be useful in developing therapeutic host targets to treat the disease. My lab is particularly interested to study how IAVs exploits host cellular proteins to promote their pathogenesis, identify genetic factors contributing to influenza disease severity, and identify host cellular targets of treatments. Our research utilizes both basic and translational models of infectious/inflammatory lung diseases. We also use influenza-infected human cohorts from diverse ancestral background to identify genetic factors contributing to disease severity. These studies may identify host cellular targets for the treatment of influenza infections and will have potential implications for targeted prevention, disease management, and treatment based on susceptibility factors.
- Mebratu YA, Imani J, Jones JT, Tesfaigzi Y. Casein kinase II activates Bik to induce death of hyperplastic mucous cells in a cell cycle-dependent manner. J Cell Physiol. 2022;237:1561-72.
- Mebratu YA, Tesfaigzi. Is Interleukin-1β a Target for Reducing Hospitalization of Infants Infected with RSV? Accepted. Am J Respir Mol Biol. 2022 Mar; 66(3):248-249. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2021-0457ED. Online ahead of print.
- Mebratu YA, Negasi ZH, Dutta S, Rojas-Quintero J, Tesfaigzi Y. Adaptation of proteasomes and lysosomes to cellular environments. Cells. 2020;9(10):2221.
- Mebratu YA, Tesfaigzi Y. IL-17 plays a role in respiratory syncytial virus-induced lung inflammation and emphysema in elastase and LPS-injured mice. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2018;58(6):717-26.
- Zhang C, Jones JT, Chand HS, Wathelet MG, Evans CM, Dickey B, Xiang J, Mebratu YA, Tesfaigzi Y. Noxa/HSP27 complex delays degradation of ubiquitylated ikBa in airway epithelial cells to reduce pulmonary inflammation. Mucosal Immunol. 2018;11(3):741-51.
- Mebratu YA, Leyva-Baca I, Wathelet MG, Lacey N, Chand HS, Choi AMK, Tesfaigzi Y. Bik reduces hyperplastic cells by increasing Bak and activating DAPk1 to juxtapose ER and mitochondria. Nat Commun. 2017;8(1):803.
- Chand HS, Mebratu YA, Kuehl PJ, Tesfaigzi Y. Blocking Bcl-2 resolves IL-13-mediated mucous cell hyperplasia in a Bik-dependent manner. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017;140(5):1456-9.e9.
- Jones JT, Tassew DD, Herrera LK, Walton-Filipczak SR, Montera MA, Chand HS, Delgado M, Mebratu YA, Tesfaigzi Y. Extent of allergic inflammation depends on intermittent versus continuous sensitization to house dust mite. Inhal Toxicol. 2017; 29(3):106-12.
- Chand HS, Mebratu YA, Montera M, Tesfaigzi Y. T cells suppress memory-dependent rapid mucous cell metaplasia in mouse airways. Respir Res. 2016;17(1):132.
- Mebratu YA, Smith KR, Agga GE, Tesfaigzi Y. Inflammation and emphysema in cigarette smoke-exposed mice when instilled with poly (I:C) or infected with influenza A or respiratory syncytial viruses. Respir Res. 2016;17(1):75.
- Mebratu YA, Tipper J, Chand HS, Walton S, Harrod KS, Tesfaigzi Y. Bik mediates caspase-dependent cleavage of viral proteins to promote influenza A virus infection. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2016;54(5):664-73.
- Awji EG, Chand H, Bruse S, Smith KR, Colby JK, Mebratu Y, Levy BD, Tesfaigzi Y. Wood smoke enhances cigarette smoke-induced inflammation by inducing the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor in airway epithelial cells. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2015;52(3):377-86.
- Chand HS, Montano G, Huang X, Randell SH, Mebratu Y, Petersen H, Tesfaigzi YA. A genetic variant of p53 restricts the mucous secretory phenotype by regulating SPDEF and Bcl-2 expression. Nature Commun. 2014;5:5567.
- Chand HS, Harris JF, Mebratu Y, Chen Y, Wright PS, Randell SH, Tesfaigzi Y. Intracellular insulin-like growth factor-1 induces Bcl-2 expression in airway epithelial cells. J Immunol. 2012;188(9):4581-9.
- Contreras AU, Mebratu Y, Delgado M, Montano G, Hu C-AA, Ryter SW, Choi AMK, Lin Y, Xiang J, Chand H, Tesfaigzi Y. Deacetylation of p53 induces autophagy by suppressing Bmf expression. J Cell Biol. 2013;201(3):427-37.
- Mebratu YA, Schwalm K, Smith KR, Schuyler M, Tesfaigzi Y. Cigarette smoke suppresses Bik to cause epithelial cell hyperplasia and mucous cell metaplasia. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011;183(11):1531-8.
- Martin F. Joyce-Brady. Just in the “Bik” of Time. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011;183(11):1447-8.
- Mebratu YA, Dickey BF, Evans C, Tesfaigzi Y. The BH3-only protein Bik/Blk/Nbk inhibits nuclear translocation of activated ERK1/2 to mediate IFNgamma-induced cell death. J Cell Biol. 2008; 183(3):429-39.
“Programmed Cell Death in Health and Disease: Apoptosis and Inflammation in Chronic Lung Diseases” Invited Lecture. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (2011)
“Science Advances in Research into SARS-CoV-2” Journal Club/ Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School (2020)
“Bik promotes IAV Replication and susceptibility to Flu” Work-In-Progress. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, BWH (2020)
“The role of the BH3-only protein Bik in regulating airway epithelial cell number in asthma and chronic bronchitis” Invited Lecture. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (2011)
“The Bcl-2 Interacting Killer, BIK: Its Role in the Resolution of Allergen- or Cigarette Smoke-induced Epithelial Cell Hyperplasia and Influenza A Virus Replication” Invited Lecture. Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (2020)
“Bcl-2 Interacting Killer (BIK): Its Role in Regulating the Resolution of Allergen- or Cigarette Smoke-induced Epithelial Cell Hyperplasia and Influenza A Virus Replication” Invited Lecture Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC (2020)
“Inhibition of the BH3-only protein Bik by cigarette smoke sustains mucous cell metaplasia in chronic bronchitis”. American Thoracic Society Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA (2010)
“Peptides derived from Bik and reduce allergen- and cigarette smoke-induced mucous cell metaplasia in mice and primary human cultures” American Thoracic Society Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA (2013)
“Reducing the risk of Rift Valley Fever transmission in trade exchanges” Invited workshop, Report presentation. RVF Transmission and Trade, Nairobi, Kenya (2001)
“RNAi and reverse genetics in trypanosomes” Invited EMBO/TDR practical course Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (Organized by WHO), Accra, Ghana (2005)
“Developing, validating, and standardizing methodologies for the use of PCR and PCR-ELISA in the diagnosis and monitoring of control and eradication programs for trypanosomiasis” Invited lecture International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Hanoi, Vietnam (2005)
“Appearances of drug resistance strains of trypanosomes in Ethiopia” 10th International Conference of the Association of Institutions for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark (2001)
“Bik Induces Death by Assembling DAPK1 and Bak at the Endoplasmic Reticulum to Causing Ca2+ Release” American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Warrenton, VA (2013)