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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Nades Palaniyar, MSc, PhD

Research Institute
Senior Scientist
Translational Medicine

University of Toronto
Associate Professor
Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology

Full Faculty Member
School of Graduate Studies

Phone: 416-813-7654 ext. 302328
Fax: 416-813-5002
Email: nades.palaniyar@sickkids.ca

For more information, visit:

Visit the Palaniyar lab website

Brief Biography

Doctoral training

  • PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics, University of Guelph, Canada. He studied viral nucleic acid binding proteins and DNA recombination in Dr. David Evans’ laboratory (1991-1996).

Postdoctoral training

  • Structure of the innate immune collectin surfactant protein A (SP-A) and lipids by electron microscopy (Dr. George Harauz’s laboratory at the University of Guelph, Canada 1996-1998)
  • SP-A and SP-D structure-function transgenic mouse work studies (Dr. Frank McCormack’s laboratory, University of Cincinnati, USA, 1998-2000)
  • SP-D:DNA, SP-D:antibody: decorin molecular interaction studies (Dr. Kenneth Reid’s laboratory, MRC Immunochemistry Unit, Department of Biochemistry, the University of Oxford, UK 2000-2004)

SickKids lung innate immunity research laboratory

  • Palaniyar returned to Canada in 2004 and established a laboratory to continue his research work on innate immunity that affects several lung diseases.

Research Interests

  • Diseases of interest: infectious diseases, rare lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, allergy/asthma
  • Lung innate immunity – collectins - SP-A & SP-D
  • Influenza virus infection – H1N1 Swine Flu
  • Link between innate and adaptive immunity – SP-D & antibodies
  • DNA, neutrophil extracellular trap (NETs) and apoptotic cell clearance
  • Lung inflammation and hyperresponsiveness

Dr. Palaniyar currently accepts graduate students and trainees.
For more information contact: nades.palaniyar@sickkids.ca

Research Activities

Infection and inflammation are major contributors to many devastating lung diseases. Palaniyar studies innate immunity, infection, inflammation and immune cell clearance in the lungs. His research at SickKids over the last 10 years has brought forward many new advances in the field. Palaniyar mainly focuses on the roles of innate immune collectins (collagenous lectins) pulmonary surfactant proteins SP-A and SP-D. These are the two major pattern-recognition\collectins of the lungs. They play crucial roles in the maintenance of healthy lungs because these collectins recognize a wide range of microbial pathogens and help clear them from the airways by macrophages. He considers these proteins to be the “antibodies of the innate immune system” (Palaniyar, Innate Immunity 2010). Palaniyar's work shows that collectins, particularly SP-D, also recognize a number of other key molecules including proteioglycan (decorin), nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), antibodies and a protease inhibitor. His lab has recently established a number of biological and clinical implications for these discoveries. As such, he has now initiated many translational collaborative projects. These basic-clinical studies address the biomarker value and the relevance of collectins in inflammatory lung diseases particularly cystic fibrosis (CF), influenza A viral infection (flu), pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP), other rare diseases related to infection-inflammation-autoimmunity, and lung complications (e.g., infection, Bronchiolitis Obliterans or BO) after stem cell transplantation in children.

Palaniyar plans to determine the molecular mechanisms of NET formation (NETosis) and functions, immune cell apoptosis and clearance. Recently, we have identified several new details of NETosis pathways. In the translational front, his team has been identifying drugs for treating inflammatory and autoimmne diseases mediated by NETs. They have also been studying stem cell engraftment/rejection and NET-related lung injury during stem cell transplantation. 

Palaniyar's intention is to further build up the basic science program and to engage in more translational studies in the next 5-year period. He has successfully set up his lab and also established a number of clinical collaborative projects within SickKids, in Canada and internationally. To strengthen his collaborative studies, and to conduct effective translational research Palaniyar has decided to work closely with MDs (sharing trainees, including MDs as committee members or as co-supervisors, including them as co-applicants in some of my grant applications). Currently, he plans to set up new collaborative projects in South Asia.

Specific projects:

  • SP-A and SP-D in H1N1 Swine flu infection
  • SP-A and  IgM in apoptosis and apoptotic cell clearance
  • SP-D and NET-mediated microbial clearance
  • SP-D and alpha-2 macroglobulin in microbial infection and apoptotic cell clearance
  • SP-A and SP-D in stem cell transplant patients
  • SP-A and SP-D in allergy/asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), alveolar proteinosis, cystic fibrosis (CF)

Common techniques used in our lab: 

  • Routine biochemical, molecular and cell biology assays
  • Gene cloning and protein expression (yeast, E. coli, mamalian cells)
  • Protein purification (affinity, ion exchange, size-exclusion; AKTA FPLC)
  • Surface plasmon resonance or SPR (ProteON)
  • Light, fluorescence, confocal and electron microscopy
  • Live cell imaging, thick tissue 3D-imaging
  • Tissue culture (epithelial, T-cells, macrophages, neutrophils; cell lines and primary cells)
  • Ex vivo and in vivo experiments in mouse models experiments (SP-A and SP-D knockouts)
  • Human amniotic fluid, blood and lung washing sample studies

Long-term Research Interests

Determining the therapeutic potential of collectins to minimize airway infection and inflammation.

For more information, visit:



  • - TASME conference (annual)
  • - iCLIIP conference (bi-annual)


  • American Lung Association (Ohio USA) postdoctoral fellowship (1999-2000)
  • Wellcome Trust, UK/CIHR postdoctoral fellowships (2000-2004)


Last Five Years

  1. Douda DN, Khan MA, Grasemann H, Palaniyar N. SK3 channel and mitochondrial ROS mediate NADPH oxidase-independent NETosis induced by calcium influx. PNAS. 2015. 112(9):2817-22. SRA.
  2. Douda DN, Khan MA, Grasemann H, Pace-Asciak, C., Palaniyar N.  A Lipid Mediator Hepoxilin A3 Is a Natural Inducer of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps in Human Neutrophils. Mediators Inflamm. 2014; 2015:520871,7. SRA.
  3. Yildiz C, Palaniyar N, Otulakowski G, Khan MA, Post M, Kuebler WM, Tanswell K, Belcastro R, Masood A, Engelberts D, Kavanagh BP. Mechanical Ventilation Induces Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation. Anesthesiology. 2015. [Epub ahead of print]. SRA.
  4. Jin L, Batra S, Douda DN, Palaniyar N and Jeyaseelan S. CXCL1 contributes to host defense in polymicrobial sepsis via modulating T cell and neutrophil functions. J Immunol. 2014; 193(7):3549-58. C.
  5. Tolosa M, Palaniyar N.  Severe respiratory insufficiency during pandemic H1N1 infection: prognostic value and therapeutic potential of pulmonary surfactant protein A. Crit Care. 2014; 18(4):479. SRA.
  6. Bade G, Khan MA, Srivastava AK, Khare P, Solaiappan KK, Guleria R, Palaniyar N and Talwar A. Serum cytokine profiling and enrichment analysis reveal the involvement of immunological and inflammatory pathways in stable patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2014; 9:759-73. CPA.
  7. Dhanju R, Min W, Ackerley C, Cimpean L, Palaniyar N, Roifman CM and Grunebaum E. Pulmonary alveolar proteinosis in adenosine deaminase-deficient mice. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014; 133(5):1467-71. C.
  8. Cote O, Clark ME, Viel L, Labbe G, Seah SY, Khan MA, Douda DN, Palaniyar N and Bienzle D. Secretoglobin 1A1 and 1A1A differentially regulate neutrophil reactive oxygen species production, phagocytosis and extracellular trap formation. PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e96217. C.
  9. Mehl, A., Ghorbani, P., Douda DN, Huang, H., Palaniyar N, Ratjen, F., Grasemann H. Effect of arginase inhibition on pulmonary L-argnine metabolism in murine Pseudomonas pneumonia. PLoS One. 2014; 9(3): e90232. C.
  10. Douda DN, Yip L, Khan MA, Grasemann H and Palaniyar N.  Akt is essential to induce NADPH-dependent NETosis and to switch the neutrophil death to apoptosis. Blood. 2014; 123(4): 597-600. SRA.
  11. Peter MR, Jerkic M, Sotov V, Douda DN, Ardelean DS, Ghamami N, Lakschevitz F, Khan MA, Robertson SJ, Glogauer M, Philpott DJ, Palaniyar N and Letarte M. Impaired resolution of inflammation in the Endoglin heterozygous mouse model of chronic colitis. Mediators Inflamm. 2014; 2014: 767185. C.
  12. Madsen J, Gaiha GD, Palaniyar N, Dong T, Mitchell DA, Clark HW. Surfactant Protein D modulates HIV infection of both T-cells and dendritic cells. PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e59047. C.
  13. Gassas A, Craig-Barnes H, Dell SD, Cox P, Schechter T, Doyle J, Sung L, Egeler M and Palaniyar N.  Severe lung injury and lung biopsy in children post-hematopoietic stem cell transplantation: The differences between allogeneic and autologous transplantation. Pediatr Transplant. 2013; 17(3): 278-84. SRA.
  14. Cheng OZ, Palaniyar N.  NET balancing: a problem in inflammatory lung diseases. Front Immunol. 2013; 4: 1. SRA.
  15. Gassas A, Craig-Barnes H, Dell S, Doyle J, Schechter T, Sung L, Egeler M, Palaniyar N.  Chest health surveillance utility in the early detection of bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome in children after allo-SCT. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2012; 2013; 17(3): 814-8. SRA.
  16. Lee BH, Hwang DM, Palaniyar N, Grinstein S, Philpott DJ, Hu J. Activation of P2X(7) receptor by ATP plays an important role in regulating inflammatory responses during acute viral infection. PLoS One. 2012; 7(4): e35812. C.
  17. Jeyaseelan S, Palaniyar N.  Comment and Response on “Innate immue collectin surfactant protein D simultaneously binds both neutrophil extracellular traps and carbohydrate ligands and promotes bacterial trapping”. Journal of Immunology. 2012; 188(1). SRA.
  18. Douda DN, Jackson R, Grasemann H, Palaniyar N.  Innate immune collectin surfactant protein D simultaneously binds both neutrophil extracellular traps and carbohydrate ligands and promotes bacterial trapping. J. Immunol. 2011. 187, 1856-65. SRA
  19. Litvack ML, Post M, Palaniyar N.  IgM promotes the clearance of small particles and apoptotic microparticles by macrophages. PLoS One. 2011; 6(3): e17223. SRA.
  20. Hansen S, Selman L, Palaniyar N, Ziegler K, Brandt J, Kliem A, Jonasson M, Nielsen O, Hartshorn K, Jørgensen TJD, Skjødt K, Holmskov U. Collectin 11(CL-11, CL-K1) is a MASP-1/3-associated plasma collectin, with microbial-binding activity. J. Immunol. 2010; 185(10):6096-104. CPA.
  21. Litvack ML, Djiadeu P, Sy S, SriRenganathan S, Post M, Palaniyar N.  Natural IgM and innate immune collectin SP-D bind to late apoptotic cells and enhance their clearance by alveolar macrophages in vivo. Mol Immunol. 2010; 8(1-3):37-47. SRA.
  22. Krogh-Meibom T, Ingvartsen TL, Tørnoe I, Palaniyar N, Willis AC, Holmskov U. A simple two-step purification procedure for the iC3b binding collectin conglutinin. J. Immunol. Method. 2010; 362(1-2):204-8. CPA.
  23. Palaniyar N.    Antibody equivalent molecules of the innate immune system: parallels between innate and adaptive immune proteins. Innate Immunity. 2010; 16(3) 131-7. SRA.
  24. Litvack ML, Palaniyar N.  Review: Soluble innate immune system: parallels between innate and adaptive immune proteins. Innate Immunity. 2010; 16(3): 191-200. SRA.
  25. Craig-Barnes H, Doumouras BS, Palaniyar N.  Surfactant protein D interacts with alpha-2-macroglobulin to protect its carbohydrate-recognition domain and to increase its innate immune potential. J Biol Chem. 2010;285(18): 13461-70. SRA
  26. Breuiller-Fouché M, Dubois O, Sediki M, Garcia-Verdugo I, Palaniyar N, Tanfin Z, Chissey A, Cabrol D, Charpigny G, Mehats C. Secreted surfactant protein-A (SP-A) from fetal membranes induces stress fibers in cultured human myometrial cells. Am J Physiol Endocrinol & Metab. 2010;298(6):E1188-97. C.
  27. Thomsen T, Moeller JB, Schlosser A, Sorensen GL, Moestrup SK, Palaniyar N, Wallis R, Mollenhauer J, Holmskov U. The recognition unit of FIBCD1 organizes into a non-covalently linked tetrameric structure and uses the hydrophobic funnel (S1) for acetyl-group recognition. J Biol Chem. 2010; 285(2):1229-38. C.
  28. Lee BH, Kushwah R, Ng P, Palaniyar N, Grinstein S, Philpott DJ, Hu J. Activation of macrophages requires interaction with epithelial cells in innate immune response against adenoviral vectors. Immunol Lett. 2010; 134(1):93-102. C.

Intellectual Property

Recombinant surfactant protein D compositions and methods of use thereof (WO/03/035679 A2)