Immunology of Infectious Diseases

The battle between pathogens and the host immune defenses has raged for thousands of years.  The immune system has developed a variety of approaches to controlling viral and bacterial infection, which range from direct killing of pathogen to elaborating cytokines that inhibit replication.  Pathogens have countered by developing a variety of immune evasion mechanisms that inhibit cytokine function and prevent immune recognition of infected cells.  Faculty and student efforts to define and characterize these opposing mechanisms will undoubtedly lead to improved treatment of infectious diseases ranging from AIDS and parasitic infections to sexually transmitted diseases and the common cold.

Participating Faculty and Labs

John Alcorn, Ph.D.
T cell immunity, host defense, epithelial cell biology, and lung physiology; Immunologic mechanisms of severe and steroid insensitive asthma

Simon Barratt-Boyes, B.V.Sc., Ph.D. 
Development of a preventative vaccine and immunotherapy against HIV infection

Jennifer Bomberger, Ph.D.
Viral-bacterial synergy in the lung; Bacterial toxin secretion via outer membrane vesicles; Mechanisms of chronic bacterial infections

Kelly Stefano Cole, Ph.D.
The development of animal models for evaluation of vaccines and therapeutics for emerging respiratory pathogens, including seasonal, pandemic and highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses.

Sarah Gaffen, Ph.D.
Defining innate and adaptive immunity to fungal infections caused by Candida albicans and related species.

JoAnne L. Flynn, Ph.D. 
Immunology and pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Robert L. Hendricks, Ph.D. 
Viral immunology; T cell activation and function at inflammatory sites.

William B. Klimstra, Ph.D.
Animal models of arbovirus infection; rational vaccine design and immune responses to vaccines; role of innate immune responses in controlling arbovirus disease

Ronald Montelaro, Ph.D.
HIV-1 and animal lentivirus antigenic variation; immune enhancement; AIDS vaccine development.

Doug Reed, Ph.D.
Vaccines and correlates of protection for pneumonic tularemia; aerosol infection of animals with highly pathogenic viruses and bacteria

Todd A. Reinhart, Sc.D.
Role of chemokines in the pathogenesis of HIV-1 and SIV; basic biology and inhibition of chemokines; roles played by lymphatic endothelial cells in infectious diseases and vaccines; vaccines for HIV-1, influenza, and cancer

Saumendra N. Sarkar, Ph.D.
Innate Immunity; signaling process involved in cytokine production after virus infection; develop modulators for signaling pathways