Carla Cerami, PhD

Research Assistant Professor Department of Epidemiology

T:(919) 843-4384

Gillings School of Global Public Health

CB #7435

Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Dr. Cerami's research focuses on the innate immune response to malaria infection and injury with the goal of discovering and developing useful therapeutic agents. The innate immune response is a complex endogenous response that is carefully orchestrated to mitigate insults while minimizing collateral damage and promoting tissue regeneration. Similar pathways are activated by many types of infections, including malaria, and by injuries that results from multiple causes, including trauma, ischemia, radiation and toxins.

Her current research projects include:

(1) The role of host iron in the innate immune response to malaria. Dr. Cerami's laboratory is focused on molecular and cellular mechanisms of nutritional immunity used by the human host to protect itself from malaria.

(2) The role of Erythropoietin (EPO) in the innate immune response to cerebral malaria and traumatic brain injury. She focuses on the discovery of therapeutic molecules that down regulate the host response to infection and injury. EPO was first described as a renal hormone that stimulates erythropoiesis. Dr. Cerami and colleagues have shown that EPO has neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, synaptogenic, and immunomodulatory activities and promotes the recruitment of stem cells after injury.

Key Publications

Erythropoietin and tissue protection. Michael Brines, Carla Hand (2012). Hemodialysis, When, How, Why.


MD, Medicine, New York University Sschool of Medicine, 1994

PhD, Immunology, New York University School of Medicine, 1993

BA, Biochemistry, Columbia College, 1987