Maxim C. Cheeran, MVSc, PhD

Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine (VPM)
Maxim Cheeran


Office Phone
Office Address

225 Veterinary Medical Center
1365 Gortner Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55108
United States


Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine
Center for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Translational Research (CIDMTR)
Department of Medicine
Institute for Molecular Virology


PhD, University of Minnesota, 2000

MVSc, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, 1995

BVSc & AH College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, 1992

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Dr. Maxim C-J. Cheeran is an Associate Professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota. His research laboratory investigates the impact of innate and adaptive immune responses on the outcomes associated with viral infections and with brain injury. Ultimately, Dr. Cheeran hopes to identify novel points of intervention in the immune response to infection and injury that can be used to mitigate adverse disease outcomes.

Alongside his research, Dr. Cheeran serves as the Director of the BSL-3 Program, at the Office of the Vice President for Research, where he oversees high biocontainment (BSL-3) facilities on campus. He has a passion for training and mentoring students at various stages in their careers, including health science professionals (DVM and MD students), graduate, undergraduate, and high school students. He teaches in both the DVM and graduate curriculum. When not at work, Dr. Cheeran loves to shoot landscape photographs and to travel.


Dr. Cheeran is viral immunologist with advanced training in neuroimmunology.


Research summary/interests

The Cheeran laboratory has three focus areas of research:

  1. Neuroimmunology of brain disease: The primary research focus of the Cheeran laboratory is to elucidate mechanisms by which innate and adaptive immune responses alter the neurological outcomes of brain disease. Using well-characterized in vitro and animal models of herpes virus brain infection and traumatic brain injury, his laboratory investigates how macrophages and T lymphocytes alter disease processes in the brain that impact neurological outcomes. The ultimate goal is to identify novel points of intervention that can be manipulated to mitigate or inhibit the adverse outcomes ensuing brain infection or injury.
  2. Immunology of infectious diseases in swine: This research program studies how mucosal immune response to viruses in domesticated swine not only provides protection to infection but also drives the emergence of novel viral strains through the acquisition of traits to escape host recognition.
  3. Infectious disease diagnostic tools: The Cheeran lab develops diagnostic tools for infectious diseases in humans and in production animals. The laboratory generates and utilizes antibody-based reagents to develop novel pen-side (point-of-care) diagnostics for disease diagnosis and surveillance in agricultural settings. This initiative is a collaborative effort with Professor JP Wang’s group at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the College of Science & Engineering. 

Research funding grants

  1. 2019-2024 USDA/NSF “US-UK Collab: Drivers of diversity and transmission of co-circulating viral lineages in host meta-populations”
  2. 2019-2023 NIH/NINDS “Stem cells for treating acute stroke”
  3. 2019-2021 Minnesota SCI/TBI Research Grant Program “Characterizing the neuroinflammation associated with sequential Traumatic Brain Injury in a rodent model”
  4. 2017-2019 Minnesota SCI/TBI Research Grant Program “Therapeutic application of non-hematopoietic umbilical cord blood stem cells (nh-UCBSCs) in traumatic brain injury: immune modulation with acute and long term benefits”


Neuroimmunology of brain disease:

  1. Chrostek MR, Fellows EG, Guo WL, Swanson WJ, Crane AT, Cheeran MC, Low WC, and Grande AW. Efficacy of Cell-Based Therapies for Traumatic Brain Injuries. Brain Sci. 2019, 9(10), 270;
  2. Stone LLH§, Xiao F, Rotschafer JH§, Juliano M, Sanberg CD, Sanberg PR, Kuzmin-Nichols N, Grande A, Cheeran MC-J, and Low WC. Amelioration of Ischemic Brain Injury in Rats with Human Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells: Mechanisms of Action. Cell Transplantation 2016; 25(8):1473-14788. doi:10.3727/096368916X691277. PMID: 26996530
  3. Hu S, Rotschafer JH§, Lokensgard JR, and Cheeran MC-J. Activated CD8+ T lymphocytes inhibit Neural Stem Cell Proliferation: Role of Interferon-gamma. PLoSOne 2014; 9(8): e105219.
  4. Rotschafer JH§, Hu S, Little M,Erickson MR§, Low WC, Cheeran MC-J. Modulation of neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation during experimental Herpes Simplex encephalitis is mediated by differential FGF-2 expression in the adult brain. Neurobiology of Disease 2013 58:114-155
  5. Mutnal MB, Cheeran MC-J, Hu S, Lokensgard JR. Murine Cytomegalovirus Infection of Neural Stem Cells Alters Neurogenesis in the Developing Brain. PLoS ONE2011 6(1): e16211
  6. Armien AG, HuS, Little MR, Robinson N, Lokensgard JR, Low WC, and. Cheeran MC-J*. Chronic cortical and subcortical pathology with associated neurological deficits ensuing experimental Herpes encephalitis. Brain Path. 2010; 20: 738-750.
  7. Cheeran MC-J, Lokensgard JR, and Schleiss M. Neuropathogenesis of congenital Cytomegalovirus infection. Clin Microbial Rev. 2009; 22(1): 99-126

Immunology of infectious diseases in swine:

  1. Krishna VD, Kim Y§, Yang M, Vannucci F, Molitor T, Torremorell M, Cheeran MC-J. Immune responses to porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in swine and protection against subsequent infection. 2020 (In Press) PlosOne.
  2. Kim Y§, Krishna VD§, Torremorell M, Goyal, SM, and Cheeran MC-J. Stability of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus on fomite materials at different temperatures. Veterinary Sciences, 2018; 5(1): 21 doi:10.3390/vetsci5010021
  3. 10.Lamont E.A§, Poulin E, Sreevatsan S, Cheeran MC-J. Major histocompatibility complex I of swine respiratory cells presents conserved regions of influenza proteins. Journal of General Virology 2018; DOI 10.1099/jgv.0.001008.
  4. Kim Y§, Yang M, Goyal SM, Cheeran MC-J, Torremorell M. Evaluation of biosecurity measures to prevent indirect transmission of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. BMC Veterinary Research 2017; 13 (1) 89. doi:10.1186/s12917-017-1017-4
  5. Macedo N§, Cheeran MC-J, Rovira A, Holtcamp A, Torremorell M. Effect of Enrofloxacin on Haemophilus parasiuis infection, disease and immune response. Veterinary Microbiology 2017; 199:91-99. doi:10.1016/j.vetmic. 2016.12.032
  6. Krishna VD§, Roach E, Zaidman NA, Panoskaltsis-Mortari A, Rotschafer JH§, O’Grady SM, and Cheeran MC-J. Differential induction of type I and type III Interferons by swine and human origin H1N1 influenza A viruses in porcine airway epithelial cells. PlosOne 2015; 10(9):e0138704. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138704

Diagnostic tools for infectious disease:

  1. Wu K, Liu J, Saha R, Su D, Krishna VD, Cheeran MC, Wang JP. Magnetic Particle Spectroscopy for Detection of Influenza A Virus Subtype H1N1. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2020; doi: 10.1021/acsami.0c00815. PMID: 32150378.

  2. Su D, Wu K, Krishna VD§, Klien T, Liu J, Feng Y, Perez A, Cheeran MC-J, Wang J-P. Wash-free magnetic bioassays on a handheld platform: Potential for future easy-to-use, rapid and onsite diagnosis. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2019, 21;10:1077. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.01077. eCollection 2019

  3. Krishna VD§, Wu K, Su D, Cheeran MC-J, Wang JP, Perez, A. Nanotechnology: Review of concepts and Potential application in food safety. Food Microbiology 2018 ; 75:47 – 54

Link to Bibliography


Teaching areas

  • Infectious diseases
  • Virology
  • Neuroimmunology


  • CVM 6913: Agents of Disease I
  • CVM 6917: Agents of Disease II
  • CMB 8361/NSC 8026 : Neuroimmune interactions