Essential for life in a world filled with potentially deadly pathogens, the immune system must constantly adapt to attack microbes and tumor cells. Yet, at the same time, the components of the immune system must be highly specific to prevent activation by self-tissue; such self-activation could cause autoimmune disease. This intricate and often precarious balance is fundamental to immunity. The innate immune system is the first and immediate line of defense against pathogens, and consists of complement proteins, cytokines, natural killer cells, phagocytes and antimicrobial peptides. The adaptive immune response develops secondarily, is mediated by antigen-presenting cells and T and B lymphocytes, and has both cellular and humoral responses, the latter of which involve soluble immunoglobulin mediators (antibodies). The immune responses normally lead to elimination of pathogens, but under some circumstances, they can augment disease.
The faculty members with an immunology research focus seek to define and understand how the immune system effectively prevents disease by microbial infection or oncogenic transformation, while at the same time avoids damaging self-tissues. Many are using this knowledge to develop novel and effective disease prevention and therapeutic measures. The students enrolled in the immunology program will gain a thorough understanding of these processes in humans as well as in comparative animal models. The training includes recommended course work and research rotations in the laboratories of associated investigators, in addition to an Immunology Journal Club and weekly Seminars in Immunology hosted by the Institute for Immunology. Student fellowship opportunities are available through several NIH-sponsored training grants.
The Biology of Infectious Disease research interest group encompasses diverse experimental systems, including parasites, bacteria, fungi, viruses and disease vectors. The faculty members present a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of infectious disease and microbial pathology. Faculty research involves the study of bacterial pathogens such asBorrelia and Chlamydia, the protozoan agents of malaria, toxoplasmosis and sleeping sickness (Plasmodium, Toxoplasma and Trypanosoma), the viral pathogens Dengue virus and HIV, and the tick (Ixodes) and mosquito (Anopheles and Aedes) insect vectors that spread human pathogens that cause malaria, Lyme disease and Dengue fever.
- Rosa Andrade, firstname.lastname@example.org, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Toxoplasma gondii, Entamoeba histolytica,Neglected Tropical Diseases and drug discovery. Clinical Interests: HIV and STD management.
- Michael Buchmeier, email@example.com, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Viral biology and pathogenesis, structural and functional proteomics of viruses, and biodefense related pathobiology
- Michael D. Cahalan, firstname.lastname@example.org, Physiology & Biophysics
T cell activation: ion channels, calcium signaling, and gene expression
- Michael Demetriou, email@example.com, Neurology and Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Molecular biology and glycobiology of T cell dysfunction in autoimmune demyelinating disease
- Donald Forthal, firstname.lastname@example.org, Medicine, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Interactions between antibodies and Fc receptors and the role of these interactions in preventing, controlling or enhancing infection with HIV and related lentiviruses
- Anthony A. James, email@example.com, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Malaria parasite development; genetic manipulation of insect vectors
- Melissa Lodoen, firstname.lastname@example.org, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Modulation of host immunity by Toxoplasma gondii
- Ilhem Messaoudi, email@example.com, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Viral pathogenesis, vaccine development, microbiome, modulation of immunity by nutrition
- Naomi Morrissette, firstname.lastname@example.org, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Genetic, cell biological and structure-function studies of tubulin and microtubules in Apicomplexan parasites
- Eric Pearlman, email@example.com, Ophthalmology and Physiology & Biophysics
Regulatory role of neutrophils in bacterial and fungal infections
- A. Olga Razorenova, firstname.lastname@example.org, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Internal (oncogenes/tumor suppressor genes) and external (tumor microenvironment)
factors regulating tumor progression and metastasis.
- Rozanne M. Sandri-Goldin, email@example.com, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Structure and functional analysis of a multifunction herpes virus regulatory protein
- Bert L. Semler, firstname.lastname@example.org, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
Replication of picornavirus RNAs; RNA-protein and protein-protein interactions
Bacterial pathogenesis, mechanical signal transduction, and biofilm development
- Ming Tan, email@example.com, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, and Medicine
Chlamydia infections: Gene regulation and host pathogen interactions
- Andrea J. Tenner, firstname.lastname@example.org, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry and Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Innate immunity; the roles of complement and phagocytes in health and disease
- Armando Villalta, email@example.com, Physiology and Biophysics
Immune cell and organ system interactions that promote tissue injury and repair
- Craig M. Walsh, firstname.lastname@example.org, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Apoptotic mechanisms in immune development and homeostasis
- Albert Zlotnik, email@example.com, Physiology & Biophysics
Chemokines, cancer metastasis, gene array analysis of human diseases and bioinformatics in immunology
Faculty – Secondary Affiliation
- Steve Allison,firstname.lastname@example.org, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Microbial enzymes, theoretical ecology, and biogeochemistry.
- Angela Fleischman, email@example.com, Medicine and Biological Chemistry
- David A. Fruman, firstname.lastname@example.org, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Targeting the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway in leukemia and lymphoma cells
- Paul Gershon, email@example.com, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Mechanistic and structural characterization of vaccinia viral proteins, with an emphasis on specific mRNA synthetic and modification enzymes, using mass spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and crystallography
- Matt Inlay, firstname.lastname@example.org, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Molecular mechanisms regulating developmental fate decisions in embryonic and adult hematopoiesis in mouse and humans.
- Rongsheng Jin, email@example.com, Physiology & Biophysics
Structure and function of synaptic proteins; neurotoxins and receptors; protein complexes; protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions; X-ray crystallography
- Haoping Liu, firstname.lastname@example.org, Biological Chemistry
MAP kinase signal transduction; dimorphic regulation in yeast
- Jennifer B.H. Martiny, email@example.com, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Diversity, evolution, and functioning of microbial communities (microbiomes).
- Michael McClelland, firstname.lastname@example.org, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Evolution of Salmonella pathogenesis; bacterial therapy for cancer; cancer genomics and prognostics.
- Edward L. Nelson, email@example.com, Medicine and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Tumor immunology, dendritic cell biology, and anti-tumor immunotherapeutics
- Jennifer Prescher, firstname.lastname@example.org, Chemistry, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Probing biological systems with chemical tools and noninvasive imaging
- Katrine Whiteson, email@example.com, Molecular Biology & Biochemistry
Metagenomics, metabolomics and community culture models of host-associated microbial and viral communities in health and disease; human microbiome; microbial ecology.
- Weian Zhao, firstname.lastname@example.org, Biological Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Stem cell engineering and clinical translation, molecular sensors and diagnostics, single-cell analysis and screening, cancer immunotherapy