School of Medicine
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Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests My laboratory studies the strategies pathogens utilize to colonize and subvert the epithelial barrier. We have focused on the epithelial junctions as a target for bacterial pathogens, since the cell-cell junctions serve as both a barrier to infection and also a major control site for epithelial function. In particular, we are interested in how the gastric pathogen Helicobater pylori may cause cancer by interfering with cell signaling at the epithelial junctions. We are also studying how various bacteria cross and invade the epithelium. For example, we recently found that Listeria monocytogenes targets a specialized subset of cell-cell junctions at the tip of the intestinal villi to find its receptor for invasion. We are interested in determining whether this mode of gastrointestinal invasion of the epithelium is also used by other gastrointestinal pathogens.
Ann M. Arvin
Vice Provost and Dean of Research, Lucile Salter Packard Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our laboratory investigates the pathogenesis of varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection, focusing on the functional roles of particular viral gene products in pathogenesis and virus-cell interactions in differentiated human cells in humans and in Scid-hu mouse models of VZV cell tropisms in vivo, and the immunobiology of VZV infections.
Helen M. Blau
The Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Foundation Professor and Director, Baxter Laboratory for Stem Cell Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Prof. Helen Blau's research area is regenerative medicine with a focus on stem cells. Her research on nuclear reprogramming and demonstrating the plasticity of cell fate using cell fusion is well known and her laboratory has also pioneered the design of biomaterials to mimic the in vivo microenvironment and direct stem cell fate. Current findings are leading to more efficient iPS generation, cell based therapies by dedifferentiation a la newts, and discovery of novel molecules and therapies.
Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our lab uses chemical, biochemical, and cell biological methods to study protease function in human disease. Projects include:
1) Design and synthesis of novel chemical probes for each of the primary protease families.
2) Understanding the role of proteolysis in the life cycle of the human parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii.
3) Defining the specific functional roles of proteases during the process of tumorogenesis.
4) In vivo imaging of protease activity
Burt and Marion Avery Professor of Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests We are intereseted in the interaction between the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and its mammalian host. We use a combination of molecular and genetic tools to understand how this obligate intracellular parasite can invade almost any cell it encounters, how it co-opts a host cell once inside and how it evades the immune response to produce a life-long, persistent infection.
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our research focuses on the identification of host genes that play critical roles in the pathogenesis of infectious agents including viruses. We use haploid genetic screens in human cells as an efficient approach to perform loss-of-function studies. Besides obtaining fundamental insights on how viruses hijack cellular processes and on host defense mechanisms, it may also facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Contribution of T cells to immunocompetence and autoimmunity; how the immune system clears infection, avoids autoimmunity and how infection impacts on the development of immune responses.
Christopher H. Contag
Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology), of Microbiology and Immunology and, by courtesy, of Radiology and of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly Interests We develop and use the tools of molecular imaging to understand oncogenesis, reveal patterns of cell migration in immunosurveillance, monitor gene expression, visualize stem cell biology, and assess the distribution of pathogens in living animal models of human biology and disease. Biology doesn't occur in "a vacuum" or on coated plates--it occurs in the living body and that's were we look for biological patterns and responses to insult.
Mark M. Davis
The Burt and Marion Avery Family Professor
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Molecular mechanisms of lymphocyte recognition and differentiation; Systems immunology and human immunology; vaccination and infection.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Malaria is a parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitos that is a leading cause of childhood mortality globally. Public health efforts to control malaria have historically been hampered by the rapid development of drug resistance. The goal of our research is to understand the molecular determinants of critical host-pathogen interactions in malaria, with a focus on the erythrocyte host cell. Our long-term goal is to develop novel approaches to prevent or treat malaria and improve child health.