Prosper N. Boyaka


Stanton Youngberg Professor in Veterinary Medicine
Professor and Chair, Department of Veterinary Biosciences

Contact (614) 247-4671 Goss Laboratory
1925 Coffey Road
Columbus, OH 43210
Map Link


Veterinary Biosciences

Professional Training and experience

  • Master's, Biochemistry, University Denis Diderot (Paris 7), Paris, France
  • PhD, Toxicology / Immuno-Toxicology, University Denis Diderot (Paris 7), Paris, France
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology Vaccine Center, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Research Associate, Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology Vaccine Center, The University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham (1999-2006)
  • Associate Professor, The Ohio State University (2006-2010)
  • Professor, The Ohio State University (2010-present)
  • Program Director, Host Defense and Microbial Biology Program, OSU Infectious Diseases Institute

Research Interests

  • Innate regulation of mucosal immune responses
  • Adjuvants and mucosal vaccines
  • Mucosal immunity and allergy
  • Microbiota 


Research Interests

The overall goal of the research in the Boyaka lab is to better understand Mucosal Immunology (immune mechanisms at mucosal surfaces) and apply that knowledge for prevention or treatment of infectious and non-infectious diseases.

The research projects in my lab are articulated along the following three main lines of investigations:

1. Mucosal innate immune responses to microbiome and foreign immune modulators

Epithelial cells provide a physical barrier against microorganisms and foreign products. We study how epithelial cell subsets and classical innate immune cells present at mucosal surfaces respond to commensal microbial communities, microbial toxins, and other immune regulators produced by pathogens to alter homeostasis.

2. Adjuvants and vaccination strategies for induction of mucosal immunity including mucosal IgA responses

Most infectious pathogens enter the host via mucosal surfaces, which are not efficiently protected by systemic immunity and serum IgG responses achieved by injected vaccines. To provide a first line of protection at these entry ports, we study and develop vaccine adjuvants as well as needle-free vaccination strategies to induce pathogen-specific immunity at preferred mucosal surfaces including secretory IgA.

    Martin, T. L., J. Jee, E. Kim, H. E. Steiner, E. Cormet-Boyaka, and P. N. Boyaka. 2017. Sublingual targeting of STING with 3'3'3-cGAMP promotes systemic and mucosal immunity against anthrax toxins. Vaccine In press. PMID: 28343781
    Jee J, Bonnegarde-Bernard A, Duverger A, Iwakura Y, Cormet-Boyaka E, Martin TL, Steiner HE, Bachman RC, Boyaka PN. Neutrophils negatively regulate induction of mucosal IgA responses after sublingual immunization. Mucosal Immunol. 2015 Jul;8(4):735-45. PMID: 25563500; PMCID: PMC4481173.
    Duverger A, Carré JM, Jee J, Leppla SH, Cormet-Boyaka E, Tang WJ, Tomé D, Boyaka PN. Contributions of edema factor and protective antigen to the induction of protective immunity by Bacillus anthracis edema toxin as an intranasal adjuvant. J Immunol. 2010 Nov 15;185(10):5943-52. PMID: 20952678; PMCID: PMC4053574.

3. Mucosal allergic responses

Like exposure to pathogens, the host encounters allergens at mucosal surfaces and the skin. We study innate mechanisms that control allergic sensitization and allergic responses in the gastrointestinal tract and their regulation by commensal microbial communities and xenobiotics. Another focus of these studies is the Gut-Lung Axis, and mechanisms underlying allergic inflammatory responses is the airways following allergic sensitization in the gut.

    Bonnegarde-Bernard A, Jee J, Fial MJ, Aeffner F, Cormet-Boyaka E, Davis IC, Lin M, Tomé D, Karin M, Sun Y, Boyaka PN. IKKβ in intestinal epithelial cells regulates allergen-specific IgA and allergic inflammation at distant mucosal sites. Mucosal Immunol. 2014 Mar;7(2):257-67. PMID: 23839064; PMCID: PMC4053573.
    Bonnegarde-Bernard A, Jee J, Fial MJ, Steiner H, DiBartola S, Davis IC, Cormet-Boyaka E, Tomé D, Boyaka PN. Routes of allergic sensitization and myeloid cell IKKβ differentially regulate antibody responses and allergic airway inflammation in male and female mice. PLoS One. 2014 Mar 25;9(3):e92307. PMID: 24667561; PMCID: PMC3965427.



University Committees

  • Council of Research, College of Veterinary Medicine: Member 2006-08
  • Search committee for Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine: 2007
  • Search committee for Mucosal Immunology Assistant/ Associate Professor: 2007
  • College of Veterinary Medicine International Task Force: 2008
  • Graduate Study Committee (VBS), College of Veterinary Medicine Combined Graduate Program (2008-present)
  • Council for Graduate Education, College of Veterinary Medicine Combined Graduate Program (2009-present)
  • Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC) Department of Veterinary Biosciences
    • Member: 2007-present
    • Chair: 2009-present

Professional Societies

  • American Association of Immunologists
  • Society for Mucosal Immunology
  • American Society for Microbiology

Professional Services

  • Editorial Board: Infection and Immunity (2000 – 2002)
  • Associate Editor: Journal of Immunology (2001 – 2005)
  • Associate Editor: Current Immunological Reviews (2005 – present)
  • NIH Study Sections:
    • Immunity and Host-Defense (Ad Hoc 2006-2008; Permanent member 2009-present)
    • Special Emphasis Panel: Partnership for Vaccine and Diagnostic Development (2004)
    • Special Emphasis Panel: Cooperative Research Partnerships for Biodefense (2007)
    • Special Emphasis Panel: Adjuvant Development Program (2008)
    • Special Emphasis Panel Study Section: Exploratory Investigations in Food Allergy (2008)
    • Special Emphasis Panel: Immune Defense Mechanisms at the Mucosa (2009)
    • Special Emphasis Panel: Partnerships for Biodefense (2010)
  • American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
    • Program Committee: Program Chair Mucosal and Regional Immunology Block Symposia (2009-2011)
    • Minority Affairs Committee (MAC): Member 2006-2009)
    • Chair Minority Affairs Committee (2009-present)

Graduate Training Record

  • Master's, 12
  • Post Doc, 4 (current 1, past 3)
  • PhD, (current 1, past 4 including 2 co-mentored)


Books/Book Chapters

(partial listing)

  • Boyaka, P.N., A. Duverger, E. Cormet-Boyaka, and J.-N. Tournier. 2008. Mucosal immunity against anthrax. In: Immunity against mucosal pathogens. Editor: M.Vajdy. Springer Science. Chapter 13, pp367-381.

Peer Reviewed Articles

(partial listing)

  • Duverger A., J-M Carre, J. Jee, S.H. Leppla, E. Cormet-Boyaka, W-J. Tang, D. Tome, and P.N. Boyaka. 2010. Contributions of Edema Factor and Protective Antigen to the Induction of Protective Immunity by Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin as an Intranasal Adjuvant. Journal of Immunology (in press)
  • Cormet-Boyaka, E., J.S. Hong, B.K. Berdiev, J.A. Fortenberry, J. Rennolds, J.P. Clancy, D.J. Benos, P.N. Boyaka, and E.J. Sorscher. 2009. A truncated CFTR protein rescues endogenous Delta F598-CFTR and corrects chloride transport in mice. FASEB Journal. 23(11):3743-51.
  • Rennolds. J., P.N. Boyaka, S.L. Bellis, and E. Cormet-Boyaka, E. 2008. Low temperature induces the delivery of mature and immature CFTR to the plasma membrane. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. 366:1025-9.
  • Fukuiwa. T., S. Sekine, R. Kobayashi, H. Suzuki, K. Kataoka, R.S. Gilbert, Y. Kurono, P.N. Boyaka, A.M. Krieg, J.R. McGhee, and K. Fujihashi. 2008. A combination of Flt3 ligand cDNA and CPG ODN as nasal adjuvant elicits NALT dendritic cells for prolonged mucosal immunity. Vaccine. 26:4849-59.
  • Fischer R, Debbabi H, Blais A, Dubarry M, Rautureau M, Boyaka PN, Tome D. 2007. Uptake of ingested bovine lactoferrin and its accumulation in adult mouse tissues. Int Immunopharmacol. 7(10):1387-93.
  • Fischer R, Tome D, McGhee JR, Boyaka PN. 2007. Th1 and Th2 cells are required for both eosinophil - and neutrophil-associated airway inflammatory responses in mice. Biochem biophys Res Commun. 357(1):44-9.
  • Youn HJ, Ko SY, Lee KA, Ko HJ, Lee YS, Fujihashi K, Boyaka PN, Kim SH, Horimoto T, Kweon MN, Kang CY. 2007. A single intranasal immunization with inactivated influenza virus and alpha-galactosylceramide induces long-term protective immunity without redirecting antigen to the central nervous system. Vaccine. 25(28):5189-98.
  • Duverger A, Jackson RJ, van Ginkel FW, Fischer R, Tafaro A, Leppla SH, Fujihashi K, Kiyono H, McGhee JR, Boyaka PN. 2006. Bacillus anthracis edema toxin acts as an adjuvant for mucosal immune responses to nasally administered vaccine antigens. J Immunol. 176(3):1776-83
  • Fischer R, McGhee JR, Vu HL, Atkinson TP, Jackson RJ, Tome D, Boyaka PN. 2005. Oral and nasal sensitization promote distinct immune responses and lung reactivity in a mouse model of peanut allergy. Am J Pathol. 167(6):1621-30.
  • Lifrani A, Dubarry M, Rautureau M, Aattouri N, Boyaka PN, Tome D. 2005. Peanut-lupine antibody cross-reactivity is not associated to cross-allergenicity in peanut-sensitized mouse strains. Int Immunopharmacol. 5(9):1427-35.
  • Singh UP, Singh S, Boyaka PN, McGhee JR, Lillard JW Jr. 2004. Granulocyte chemotactic protein-2 mediates adaptive immunity in part through IL-8Rbeta interactions. J Leukoc Biol. 76(6):1240-7.
  • Sfeir RM, Dubarry M, Boyaka PN, Rautureau M, Tome D. 2004. The mode of oral bovine lactoferrin administration influences mucosal and systemic immune responses in mice. J Nutr.134(2):403-9.
  • Ben Nasser I, Boyaka PN, Fennira Ben Aissa F, Jeddi M, Tome D. 2003. The [173-196] fragment of ovalbumin suppresses ovalbumin-specific rat IgE responses. Int Immunopharmacol. 3(12):1569-79.
  • Boyaka PN, Tafaro A, Fischer R, Leppla SH, Fujihashi K, McGhee JR. 2003. Effective mucosal immunity to anthrax: neutralizing antibodies and Th cell responses following nasal immunization with protective antigen. J Immunol. 170(11):5636-43.
  • Boyaka PN, Ohmura M, Fujihashi K, Koga T, Yamamoto M, Kweon MN, Takeda Y, Jackson RJ, Kiyono H, Yuki Y, McGhee JR. 2003. Chimeras of labile toxin one and cholera toxin retain mucosal adjuvanticity and direct Th cell subsets via their B subunit. J Immunol. 170(1):454-62.
  • Lillard JW Jr, Singh UP, Boyaka PN, Singh S, Taub DD, McGhee JR. 2003. MIP-1alpha and MIP-1beta differentially mediate mucosal and systemic adaptive immunity. Blood. 101(3):807-14.
  • Boyaka PN, Marinaro M, Jackson RJ, van Ginkel FW, Cormet-Boyaka E, Kirk KL, Kensil CR, McGhee JR. 2001. Oral QS-21 requires early IL-4 help for induction of mucosal and systemic immunity. J Immunol. 166(4):2283-90.
  • Boyaka PN, Wright PF, Marinaro M, Kiyono H, Johnson JE, Gonzales RA, Ikizler MR, Werkhaven JA, Jackson RJ, Fujihashi K, Di Fabio S, Staats HF, McGhee JR. 2000. Human nasopharyngeal-associated lymphoreticular tissues. Functional analysis of subepithelial and intraepithelial B and T cells from adenoids and tonsils. Am J Pathol. 157(6):2023-35.
  • Lillard JW Jr, Boyaka PN, Hedrick JA, Zlotnik A, McGhee JR. 1999. Lymphotactin acts as an innate mucosal adjuvant. J Immunol. 162(4):1959-65.
  • Lillard JW Jr, Boyaka PN, Chertov O, Oppenheim JJ, McGhee JR. 1999. Mechanisms for induction of acquired host immunity by neutrophil peptide defensins. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 96(2):651-6.
  • Boyaka PN, Marinaro M, Jackson RJ, Menon S, Kiyono H, Jirillo E, McGhee JR 1999. IL-12 is an effective adjuvant for induction of mucosal immunity. J Immunol. 162(1):122-8.
  • Marinaro M, Boyaka PN, Jackson RJ, Finkelman FD, Kiyono H, Jirillo E, McGhee JR. 1999. Use of intranasal IL-12 to target predominantly Th1 responses to nasal and Th2 responses to oral vaccines given with cholera toxin. J Immunol. 162(1):114-21.