Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
TB and TB/HIV co-infection, cell mediated immunity and signal transduction
|BS | 1992 | University of Wisconsin-Platteville|
|MS | 1984 | Purdue University|
|PhD | 2000 | Iowa State University|
Overview: TB and TB/HIV co-infection, cell mediated immunity and signal transduction
My research is focused on mechanisms and regulation of cell mediated immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb). We utilize human subjects, infected human lung tissue, and mouse and humanized mouse models of experimental tuberculosis (TB) for these studies. An important component of my work is investigations to determine how human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) compromises CD8+T cell and macrophage function in the host immune response to M.tb. The goal of these basic studies is to identify mechanisms whereby the CD8+T cell subset can be targeted by vaccine adjuvants and/or antigens. Additionally, I have NIH funding to develop the humanized mouse as a small animal model of HIV/M.tb co-infection. Development of this model will greatly enhance capabilities to design and screen innovative prophylactics and therapeutics for TB to use in populations with HIV-compromised immune systems. Through collaboration I have additionally extended my studies of cytotoxic lymphocytes to include natural killer cell function in infectious disease (M.tb, B. anthracis) and reproduction.