School of Medicine
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Marcela Alcantara Hernandez
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Microbiology and Immunology
Bio My research interest is to understand how human dendritic cell (DC) subsets control immunity and tolerance. Particularly, I am very interested in dissecting how this major immunological axis (i.e., the DC network) contributes to control disease development. I am also interested in developing strategies to harness this immunological axis for the rational design of treatments.
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
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 serine and cysteine hydrolases.
2) Understanding the role of hydrolases in bacterial pathogenesis and 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
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our lab studies how immune responses are regulated within chronically inflamed or infected tissues. In particular, we study how the extracellular matrix influences local immunity and why these responses are dysregulated in autoimmune diseases, poorly healing wounds, and chronic infections.
We welcome research students with interests in immunology, structural biology, and microbiology.
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.