Heather Bruns


CL 171d  Phone: 765-285-8849  

Department of Biology
Ball State University
Cooper Life Science Building, CL 121
Muncie, IN 47306

Related Link
Personal Web Site

Indiana University School of Medicine, Ph.D., 2003
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Doctoral Candidate, 1999
Indiana University-Purdue University, M.S.
Indiana University, B.S. Biochemistry

General Research and Interest Areas

Over the past 11 years, I have established a diverse immunology research program. My lab has investigated the effects of broad spectrum antibiotics and mucosal integrity on oral tolerance, and in collaboration with my colleague, Susan McDowell, we have examined the effects of simvastatin on immune responses following primary and secondary infections with Staphyloccocus aureus

Currently, however, my lab is exploring aspects of herbal medicinal therapy and investigating specific immunologic mechanisms that can support or refute the effectiveness of these treatments. Presently, we are investigating the effect of extract from L. japonica on B and T lymphocyte functions. L. japonica is an herb commonly used in Chinese medicine and is known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral effects. While many investigations involving L. japonica have examined its effects on innate immune responses, such as inflammation, little is known is about how it may alter adaptive immune responses involving B and T cells. While my lab is currently investigating the effects of the extract of L. japonica on adaptive immune functions, I have plans to expand our research to include additional herbs. 

Recent Publications

DeWalt, R. I., Petkovich, D. A., Zahrt, A. N., Bruns, H. A., McDowell, S. A. (2013). Host cell invasion by Staphylococcus aureus stimulates the shedding of microvesicles. BBRC, 432(4), 695-700.

Erin M. Burns*, Lisa K. Smelser*, Jenny E. Glassburn*, Traci E. Stankiewicz*, Michael Kushdilian*, Susan A. McDowell, Heather A. Bruns.  Short term statin treatment improves survival and differentially regulates macrophage-mediated responses to Staphylococcus aureus.(2012) Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.  2013 Feb;14(2):233-41.

Sydney E. Lambert*, Jeremy M. Kinder*, Jenny E. Then*, Kelly N. Parliament*, Heather A. Bruns. Erythromycin treatment hinders the induction of oral tolerance to fed ovalbumin. (2012)  Frontiers in Mucosal Immunity. 3:203. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Nicole L. Glosson, Heather A. Bruns, Mark H. Kaplan.  Wheezing and Itching: The Requirement for STAT proteins in Allergic Inflammation. (2011) JAK-STAT.  1(1):3-12.

Stankiewicz TE; Haaning KL; Owens JM; Jordan AS; Gammon K; Bruns HA; McDowell SA. GTPase activating protein function of p85 facilitates uptake and recycling of the ß1 integrin. (2009) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 391(1):443-448

Crane ED, Stephenson N, Haffner C, Bruns HA. Active Immune Response Protects Stat6VT Transgenic Mice from Developing a Lymphoproliferative Disorder. (2009)Immunobiology. 215(7):579-585

Thieu VT, Nguyen ET, McCarthy BP, Bruns HA, Kapur R, Chang CH and Kaplan MH. IL-4 stimulated NF-kappaB activity is required for Stat6 DNA binding. (2007) J Leuk Biol. 82: pp. – ePub ahead of print 

Bruns HA, Kaplan MH. The Role of Constitutively Active Stat6 Proteins in Leukemia and Lymphoma. (2006) Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology 57: 245-253. 

Chang H-C, Zhang S, Thieu VT, Slee RB, Bruns HA, Laribee RN, Klemsz MJ, Kaplan MH. PU.1 expression delineates heterogeneity in primary Th2 cells. (2005) Immunity, 22: 693-703 

Bruns HA, Schindler U, Kaplan MH. Expression of a Constitutively Active Stat6 in vivo Alters Lymphocyte Homeostasis with Distinct Effects in T and B Cells. (2003) Journal of Immunology, 170: 3478-3487. 

Broxmeyer HE, Bruns HA, Zhang S, Cooper S, Hangoc G, McKenzie AN, Dent AL, Schindler U, Naeger LK, Hoey T, and Kaplan MH. Th1 Cells Regulate Hematopoietic Progenitor Cell Homeostasis by Production of Oncostatin M. (2002) Immunity, 16: 815-825

Lawless VA, Zhang S, Ozes ON, Bruns HA, Oldham IL, Hoey T, Grusby MJ and Kaplan MH. Stat4 Regulates Multiple Components of IFN-gamma-inducing Signaling Pathways. (2000) Journal of Immunology, 165: 6803-6808