Titus A. Reaves

Titus A. Reaves, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Room 619, Basic Science Building
Office: (843) 792-9372
Lab: (843) 792-1087

Email: reaves@musc.edu


BS, Univ. of South Carolina
PhD, Univ. of South Carolina School of Medicine, 1998
Postdoctoral Fellow, Emory University

Research Interests:

My research interests involve an understanding of how the immune systems defends the host in the large intestine. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) migration is the immune systems' first line of defense against infection serving as a major component of the acute innate inflammatory response. PMN migration is common in a number of disease systems. In the gastrointestinal (GI) system, this primarily consists of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative colitis, which are collectively referred to as inflammatory bowel disease. These activated migrating PMN release proteases that cause extensive damage to the surrounding tissue. Thus, dysregulated PMN transmigration likely plays a central causative role in the disease process. Therefore, we investigate the receptors of PMN that modulate neutrophil transmigration into the lumen of the Gut. In addition, the epithelium also plays a role in efficient PMN migration into the intestinal lumen and studies have shown that when exposed to inflammatory cytokines the GI epithelium becomes more immunogenic and PMN migration through this epithelium may be altered. Consequently, another focus of my research is to understand how the epithelium interacts with PMN to facilitate PMN migration across the epithelium. Lastly, we also currently have a research focus in the area of intestinal fibrosis; a condition, which is typically a complication of Crohn's Disease and is characterized by excessive production of extracellular matrix components principally collagen leading to inappropriate contraction of the intestine and intestinal strictures. We investigate the contribution of intestinal fibroblasts Mesenchymal cells are known for their ability to produce extra-cellular matrix (ECM) proteins such as collagens, laminins, and proteoglycans (i.e., connective tissue). Fibroblasts assists and supports the intestinal epithelium with barrier functions (i.e., sealing and  restricting passage); Play a major role in tissue development and repair; Affect other cells through the release of cytokines, growth factors, and/or differentiation factors. Thus, we are interested in the activities of three cells types PMN, epithelial cells, and fibroblasts.


Teaching Activities:

The Anatomical Basis of Medicine: this course is a systems based and typically begins in mid-August and is completed at the end of April. Moreover, is a part of the curriculum of the first year medical students.

Diversity Activities:

Ernest Everett Just Scientific Symposium “Recruitment of minority students into graduate medical curricula”


  1. Chin, A. C., B. Fournier, E. J. Peatman, T. A. Reaves, W. Y. Lee and C. A. Parkos. "Cd47 and Tlr-2 Cross-Talk Regulates Neutrophil Transmigration." J Immunol 183, no. 9 (2009): 5957-63 [PMID: 19812191]
  2. Zen, K., T. A. Reaves, I. Soto and Y. Liu. "Response to Genistein: Assaying the Activation Status and Chemotaxis Efficacy of Isolated Neutrophils." J Immunol Methods 309, no. 1-2 (2006): 86-98 [PMID: 16412456]
  3. Reaves, T. A., A. C. Chin and C. A. Parkos. "Neutrophil Transepithelial Migration: Role of Toll-Like Receptors in Mucosal Inflammation." Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 100 Suppl 1, (2005): 191-8 [PMID: 15962122]
  4. Edens, H. A., B. P. Levi, D. L. Jaye, S. Walsh, T. A. Reaves, J. R. Turner, A. Nusrat and C. A. Parkos. "Neutrophil Transepithelial Migration: Evidence for Sequential, Contact-Dependent Signaling Events and Enhanced Paracellular Permeability Independent of Transjunctional Migration." J Immunol 169, no. 1 (2002): 476-86 [PMID: 12077279]
  5. Reaves, T. A., S. P. Colgan, P. Selvaraj, M. M. Pochet, S. Walsh, A. Nusrat, T. W. Liang, J. L. Madara and C. A. Parkos. "Neutrophil Transepithelial Migration: Regulation at the Apical Epithelial Surface by Fc-Mediated Events." Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 280, no. 4 (2001): G746-54 [PMID: 11254502]
  6. Liu, Y., A. Nusrat, F. J. Schnell, T. A. Reaves, S. Walsh, M. Pochet and C. A. Parkos. "Human Junction Adhesion Molecule Regulates Tight Junction Resealing in Epithelia." J Cell Sci 113 ( Pt 13), (2000): 2363-74 [PMID: 10852816]
Last updated on 29-Oct-2015

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