- Professor, Department of Surgery - Section of Transplantation Surgery, Committee on Immunology, Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition
Ph.D., Australian National University, 1985
The University of Chicago
SBRI J547/MC 5026
5841 South Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 702-5521
Website (Department of Surgery)
My lab has had a long-standing interest in understanding the basis of immunological tolerance and humoral immunity following allogeneic transplantation. We are continuing our close collaboration with Dr. Marisa Alegre (Department of Medicine, University of Chicago) to study how infections prevent the induction of transplantation tolerance or destabilize established tolerance, and to understand the mechanisms of robust transplantation tolerance. We recently have developed new approaches to track defined populations of endogenous allospecific T (CD4+ effectors (Th1 and Tfh), CD4+ Tregs and CD8+ effectors) and B cells (donor Class I and Class II reactive), and are now investigating how each of these subsets of cells behave under conditions of rejection, memory/sensitization and tolerance. We are also actively translating some of these findings to the clinic. Specifically, we are testing immunosuppressive strategies, identified from mouse models, in controlling antibody-mediated rejection in the clinic, and validating novel assays for identifying HLA-recognizing B cells from peripheral blood of transplant candidates or recipients. These studies are performed in collaboration with the clinical transplant faculty at The University of Chicago (Dr. Adam Bodzin), The Ohio State University (Dr. Ron Pelletier) and Northwestern University Memorial Hospital (Dr. Javeed Ansari).
A second area of research is the prevention of infections through vaccination. My lab has an established program of collaborative research with Dr. Joel Collier, a bioengineer at Duke University, to develop of nanoparticulate adjuvant-free vaccines that can elicit protective immune responses with minimal inflammation. More recently, we have shown that this vaccine platform may be able to elicit both systemic and tissue-specific CD4 and CD8 responses. My lab has also been collaborating with Dr. Chris Montgomery, a physician-scientist at The Center for Microbial Pathogenesis, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, to investigate the immunobiology of protection from Staphylococcus aureus skin and lung infections, with the long-term goal of identifying vaccine antigen candidates.