Cerebrovascular Disease and Aging Laboratories

Kae Pusic

Research Project Professional

Kae Pusic received her B.S. in Microbiology from the University of California, Davis in 2003. Following graduation, she worked as a technician in the Cardiovascular Center at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa before joining the Department of Tropical Medicine’s graduate program.  In 2012, she completed her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences under the mentorship of Dr. George Hui, studying the immunology of Malaria, vaccine development and delivery systems.  During this time, she was heavily involved in NIH/NIDDK’s High school short-term educational program for underrepresented persons (Step-up).  She served as program coordinator for Hawai’i, Alaska and Puerto Rico for 5 years, and helped expand the program throughout the Pacific Islands. 

She completed her postdoctoral training in the Kraig lab at the University of Chicago, studying the mechanisms by which neuroimmune signaling of environmental enrichment improves neurological disease. More specifically, focusing on the role of exosomes in improving CNS remyelination in rat models, and explored the use of dendritic cell cultures as a source of exosomes to be developed as a neurotherapeutic.

Her research interests lie in further understanding the mechanisms of neuroimmune and immune signaling with regards to infectious and neurological diseases, with the ultimate goal of translating this basic research into clinically developing immunomodulation-based therapeutics and/or vaccines.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Pusic KM, Pusic AD, Kemme J, Kraig RP (2014) Spreading depression requires microglia and is decreased by their M2a polarization from environmental enrichment. Glia 62:1176-1194.

Pusic AD, Pusic KM, Kraig RP (2014) What are exosomes and how can they be used in multiple sclerosis therapy? Expert Rev Neurother 14:353-355.

Pusic AD, Pusic KM, Clayton BL, Kraig RP (2014) IFNγ-stimulated dendritic cell exosomes as a potential therapeutic for remyelination. J Neuroimmunol 266: 12-23.

Hui GS, Pusic KM. Training the next generation of minority health scientists: a STEP-UP in the right direction. Hawaii Med J. 2011 Jul;70(7):152-3.

Pusic KM, Hashimoto CN, Lehrer A, Aniya C, Clements DE, Hui GS. T cell epitope regions of the P. falciparum MSP1-33 critically influence immune responses and in vitro efficacy of MSP1-42 vaccines. PLoS One. 2011;6(9):e24782.

Pusic K, Xu H, Stridiron A, Aguilar Z, Wang A, Hui G. Blood stage merozoite surface protein conjugated to nanoparticles induce potent parasite inhibitory antibodies. Vaccine. 2011 Nov 8;29(48):8898-908.


Clements D., Hui G., and Pusic, K.M. (2010) Enahnced Malaria MSP-1 Subunit Vaccine.  PCT/US2010/003017.  Patent pending.

Aguilar Z., Wang A., Xu H., Hui G., Pusic, K.M. (2012) Nanoparticle-based delivery systems.  PCT/US2012/21402.  Patent pending.

Selected Abstracts

Pusic, K.M., C. Hashimoto, D. Clements and G. Hui.  Antigenicity and Immunogenicity of P. falciparum, MSP1-33.  Am. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. Washington, DC.  November 2009.

Pusic, K. M., C. Aniya, S. Lee, M. Tsang, D. Clements and G. Hui.  Different T Epitope Regions of P. falciparum MSP1-33 Critically Influences the Responsiveness, Magnitude, and Quality of Anti-MSP1-19 Antibodies. ICPOA. Melbourne, Australia. August 2010.

Pusic, K.M., S. Kobuch, M. Tsang, Z. Aguilar, A. Wang and G. Hui.  Blood Stage Merozoite Surface Protein Conjugated to Nanoparticles Induce Potent Parasite Inhibitory Antibodies. Am. Soc. Trop. Med. Hyg. Philadelphia, PA. December 2011.