Education

PhD
Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. 1991.
Post-Doctoral
Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, MD. 1991-1994.

Areas of Interests

Clinical Interests

Immunology


Research Interests

Examination of host immune responses during parasitic disease; understanding proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines during mycobacterial infections; quantitative bioluminescent RT-PCR; vaccine development.

Research Information

Research Summary

Our research interests are directed at understanding the host immune regulation of cytokines and proinflammatory response during parasitic infections. We developed and characterized models of tuberculosis in susceptible and resistant mice using modified MTB organisms. It is our hope that understanding the host response to infectious agents will allow development of effective vaccines and therapeutics to combat these diseases. We have a strong collaboration with investigators in the Department of Pathology.

The laboratory goals also include development of bovine and human Lactoferrin as a vaccine adjuvant to augment cell mediated immunity. Specifically, Lactoferrin as an adjuvant with BCG protects alveolar integrity upon infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The understanding of molecular mechanisms underlying Lactoferrin effects are of great interest, including its use as an immunomodulatory agent to control inflammatory processes.

To assist our goals, we have also developed a bioluminescent quantitative RT-PCR assay to reliably measure message for cytokines in small tissue samples. We utilized the great sensitivity of aequorin, a flash-type bioluminescent tag, to develop highly accurate, rapid and sensitive (attomols) quantitative PCR and RT-PCR assay to be used in a 96-well plate format. This procedure has enable us to examine in vivo events during pathogenesis.

Additional research involves the use of novel non-ionic block copolymers (poloxamers) as adjuvants to direct immune responses following vaccination. These adjuvants specifically influence the development of T helper, CTL and B cell responses when administered.

Publications

Publication Information