Research Interest: T Cells in the Context of Infection
T Cell Memory
We study CD4 T cell responses to Salmonella and Chlamydia infection and are particularly interested in how memory T cell are generated that can prevent secondary infections. Salmonella are a common source of food-borne infection and can also cause serious disseminated infections. Chlamydia causes the most commonly acquired sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the US. Effective vaccines are urgently needed to combat Salmonella and Chlamydia infections. The immune response to each these infections is poorly understood, limiting the potential for new vaccines for these diseases. Our goal is to study protective memory responses using a mouse model of infection so that we can understand how protective responses naturally develop. Using both Salmonella and Chlamydia infection models allows us to compare and contrast the protective immune response in two different anatomical locations, the intestine and the female reproductive tract.
Developing canine therapeutics
Another aim of our laboratory is to generate biologic reagents that would be effective in small animal medicine. We have generated several monoclonal antibodies against canine molecules that inhibit T cell responses to tumors and in collaboration with the Center for Companion Animal Health are exploring whether these reagents could be useful in clinical practice.