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Horea G. Rus, MD, PhD

Academic Title:


Primary Appointment:



110 S. Paca Street 3rd Floor

Phone (Primary):

(410) 328-5605 (office)

Phone (Secondary):

(410) 706-3170 (lab)


(410) 328-5425

Education and Training

University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, MD - 9/1980 - Medicine

University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Ph.D - 6/1992 - Immunology

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Postoctoral - 6/1993 - Neuroimmunology

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Residency - 6/2002 - Neurology

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Fellowship - 6/2003 - Clinical Neuroimmunology


Dr. Rus specializes in the diagnosis and management of multiple sclerosis. He sees patients one day a week and also runs a research laboratory. In addition, Dr. Rus participates and directs clinical trials investigating new drug therapies for Multiple Sclerosis.

Dr. Rus’s specific laboratory research lies in understanding the mechanisms of oligodendrocyte cell death through a process called apoptosis. Oligodendorcytes are special cells in the brain that make myelin. Myelin is wrapped around nerve fibers and helps increase the speed of nerve transmission. It is felt that injury or death of oligodendrocytes contributes to the MS disease process. In MS there are periods of time when the disease is most active. The hallmark of active MS is inflammation. During the active, inflammatory phase of multiple sclerosis, oligodendrocytes undergo apoptosis (or cell death). Therefore there are less oligodendrocytes, lessening ability to make myelin. This can contribute to the demyelinating process and the accumulation of

In Dr. Rus’s lab, he and his colleagues have shown that proteins once thought to only contribute to the destructive process in MS also may contribute to the prevention of oligodendrocyte death. Dr. Rus and his colleagues recently discovered and produced a new protein involved in activation of cell cycle in oligodendrocytes. This protein is called Response Gene to Complement - 32 (RGC-32) and was found to play a rolr in cell cycle activation and fibrosis. RGC-32 was found to be a biomarker of disease activity in multiple sclerosis and to response to therapy with glatiramer acetate. They are now searching for ways to introduce these new findings into potential treatments for MS. For more information on Dr. Rus’s lab please go to

Dr. Rus research is funded by the National Institute of Health, Veterans Administration and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has published over 120 papers and book chapters.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Multiple Sclerosis, Demyelination, Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, Complement system, Complement activation, RGC-32.

Highlighted Publications

Weerth S., Rus, H., Shin, M.L, and Raine, C.S. Complement C5 in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis facilitates remyelination and prevents gliosis. Am. J. Pathol. 163, 1069-1080, 2003.

Niculescu T., Weerth, S., Soane, L., Niculescu F., Rus, V., Raine, CS., Shin, M.L. and Rus, H. Effects of membrane attack complex of complement on apoptosis in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Ann. N.Y. Acad Sci, 2003, 1010, 530-533.

Niculescu, F., Niculescu T. and Rus, H. C5b-9 complement complex assembly on apoptotic cells in human arterial wall with atherosclerosis. Exp. Mol. Pathol. 2004, 76, 17-23.

Niculescu T., Weerth, S., Niculescu F., Cudrici, C., Rus, V., Raine, CS., Shin, M.L. and Rus, H. Effect of complement C5 on apoptosis in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. J. Immunol. 2004, 172, 5702-5706.

Fosbrink, M, Cudrici, C, Niculescu, F, Badea, C, David, S, Samsuddin, A, Shin, ML, Rus, H. Overexpression of RGC-32 in colon cancer and other tumors. Exp. Mol. Pathol. 2005, 78, 116-122.

Rus, H., Cudrici, C., Niculescu., F., C5b-9 complement complex in autoimmune demyelination and multiple sclerosis: Dual role in neuroinflammation and neuroprotection. Ann. Med. 2005, 37, 97-104.

Rus H, Pardo CA, Hu L, Darrah E, Cudrici C, Niculescu T, Niculescu F, Mullen KM, Allie R, Guo L, Wulff H, Beeton C, Judge SI, Kerr DA, Knaus HG, Chandy KG, Calabresi PA. The voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3 is highly expressed on inflammatory infiltrates in multiple sclerosis brain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005;102:11094-9.

Cudrici, C, Rus, H. The role of complement system in innate immunity. Immunol. Res. 2005, 33, 103-112.

Cornelia Cudrici, Florin Niculescu, Timothy Jansen, Ekaterina Zafranskaia, Matthew Fosbrink, Violeta Rus, Moon L. Shin, and Horea Rus. C5b-9 Terminal Complex Protects Oligodendrocytes from Apoptotic Cell Death by Inhibiting Caspase-8 Processing and Up-Regulating FLIP. J. Immunol. 2006; 176: 3173 – 3180.

Fosbrink M, Niculescu F, Rus V, Shin ML, Rus H. C5b-9 induced endothelial cell proliferation and migration is dependent on Akt inactivation of forkhead transcription factor FOXO1. J Biol Chem. 2006 May 2; [Epub ahead of print]

Rus, H, Cudrici, C, David, S., Niculescu, F., The complement system in central nervous system diseases. Autoimmunity, 2006, 39, 395-402.

Rus, H, Cudrici, C, Niculescu, F, Shin, M.L. Complement system in autoimmune demyelination: Dual role in neuroinflammation and neuroprotection. J. Neuroimmunol. 2006, 180, 9-16.

Cudrici, C, T. Ito, E. Zafranskaia, S. Weerth, H.H. Chen, A. Gherman, Niculescu, F, K. Soloviova, C. Tegla, V. Rus, C. S. Raine, H. Rus. Complement C5 regulates expression of Insulin-like growth factors binding proteins in chronic experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. J. Neuroimmunol., 2008 203, 94-103.

Huang WY, Li ZG, Rus H, Wang X, Jose PA, Chen SY. RGC-32 Mediates Transforming Growth Factor-{beta}-induced Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition in Human Renal Proximal Tubular Cells. J Biol Chem. 2009, 284: 9426-32.

Tegla, CA, Cudrici, C, Rus, V, Ito, T, Vlaicu, S, Singh A, Rus H. Neuroprotective effects of the complement terminal pathway during demyelination: Implications for oligodendrocyte survival. J. Neuroimmunol. 2009, 213, 3-11.

Vlaicu, S., Tegla, TA, Cudrici, C, Fosbrink, M, Nguyen, V., Azimzadeh, P, Rus, V., Chen, H, Mircea, P, Rus, H. Epigenetic modifications induced by RGC-32 in colon cancer. Exp. Mol. Pathol. 2010, 88:67-76.

Tegla CA, Cudrici C, Rozycka M, Soloviova K, Ito T, Singh AK, Khan A, Azimzadeh P, Andrian-Albescu M, Khan A, Niculescu F, Rus V, Judge SI, Rus H. C5b-9-activated, K(v)1.3 channels mediate oligodendrocyte cell cycle activation and dedifferentiation. Exp Mol Pathol. 2011, 91:335-345.

Demicheva E, Cui YF, Bardwell P, Barghorn S, Kron M, Meyer AH, Schmidt M,  Gerlach B, Leddy M, Barlow E, O'Connor E, Choi CH, Huang L, Veldman GM, Rus H, Shabanzadeh AP, Tassew NG, Monnier PP, Müller T, Calabresi PA, Schoemaker H, Mueller BK. Targeting Repulsive Guidance Molecule A to Promote Regeneration and Neuroprotection in Multiple Sclerosis. Cell Rep. 2015, 10, 1887–1898.

Kruszewski AM, Rao G, Tatomir A, Hewes D, Tegla CA, Cudrici CD, Nguyen V, Royal W 3rd, Bever CT Jr, Rus V, Rus H. RGC-32 as a potential biomarker of relapse and response to treatment with glatiramer acetate in multiple sclerosis. Exp Mol Pathol. 2015, 99: 498-505.

Vlaicu SI, Tatomir A, Rus V, Mekala AP, Mircea PA, Niculescu F, Rus H. The role of complement activation in atherogenesis: the first 40 years. Immunol Res. 2016, 64: 1-13.

Vlaicu SI, Tatomir A, Boodhoo D, Vesa S, Mircea PA, Rus H. The role of complement system in adipose tissue-related inflammation. Immunol Res. 2016 64 :653-64.

Nguyen V, Rus H, Chen C, Rus V. CTL-Promoting Effects of IL-21 Counteract Murine Lupus in the Parent→F1 Graft-versus-Host Disease Model. J Immunol. 2016 15; 196:1529-40.

Vlaicu SI, Tatomir A, Boodhoo D, Ito T, Fosbrink M, Cudrici C, Mekala AP, Ciriello J, Crişan D, Boţan E, Rus V, Rus H. RGC-32 is expressed in the human atherosclerotic arterial wall: Role in C5b-9-induced cell proliferation and migration. Exp Mol Pathol. 2016, 101:221-23


Awards and Affiliations

Experience and Professional Memberships

1994: Member- American Association of Immunology

1998-2000 - Associate Editor - Journal of Immunology

2000-2002 - Associate Editor - Journal of Immunology

2006-2009 - Member- Editorial Board, Journal of Neuroimmunology

2006 - present:  Member-Editorial Board, Open Journal of Immunology

2011 - present:  Editorial Board, Journal of Clinical and Cellular Immunology

2002-2003 - NIH Peer Review Committee-Cardiovascular Integrated Review Group-NHLBI

2008 - DOD Grants Peer Review Committee on Multiple Sclerosis


1993 - International Complement Workshop Award

1994 - Member - Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

2007 - Visiting Professor, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca, Romania



Grants and Contracts

Veterans Administration Merit Award  Rus H (PI) 04/01/2014-9/30/2018

Role of RGC-32 in gliosis