Dr. Vivek R. Nerurkar, who joined the University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) in 1994, to develop the Research Centers in Minority Institutions (RCMI), NCRR-supported Retrovirology Activity following a five-year appointment as a Visiting Fellow and Visiting Associate of the NINDS, NIH, has mentored over 100 undergraduate and graduate students, technicians and postdoctoral fellows in laboratory-based research during the past 25 years. Dr. Nerurkar’s major area of research interest is in infectious diseases, specifically to study the pathogenesis of orphan diseases and orphan microbial agents. Over the past two decades he has conducted research in the diverse but related areas of virology, specifically neurovirology.
Dr. Nerurkar conducts research on pathogenesis of West Nile virus-associated meningoencephalitis and pathogenesis of the fatal demyelinating disease, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). A talented virologist, Dr. Nerurkar, has extensive experience in classical and molecular microbiological techniques, as documented in publications appearing in peer-reviewed journals and in successful grant applications from local and national agencies. He has utilized molecular methods to study a wide range of emerging and re-emerging microbial pathogens. Dr. Nerurkar has collaborated nationally and internationally with investigators from various ethnic backgrounds. He has extensive experience of conducting research in international arena and his abilities to train minority students, enrolled at the UHM (a minority institution) and international students and postdoctoral fellows, is well documented in the form of collaborative publications. He is member of the graduate faculty of the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB), JABSOM; Department of Molecular Biosciences and Biosystems Engineering (MBBE), College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR); and Department of Microbiology, College of Natural Sciences (CNS), UHM. He is part of the NIH Short Term Education Program for Underrepresented Persons (STEP UP) Summer program, which trains high school and undergraduate students in laboratory research. He is also a mentor of the NIMH, NIH R25 grant, which trains minorities and other disadvantaged students and faculty in conducting research on mental health related issues. Dr. Nerurkar will serve as a Core Director and Mentor on this proposal.