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GSBS Research Topics: IMMUNOLOGY

Beverly E. Barton, Ph.D. - Newark - We are studying the role of IL-6-like cytokines and signal transduction in prostate cancer. Using approaches from immunology, e.g. flow cytometry to measure activated signaling proteins, we have demonstrated the activation of STAT3 in neoplastic but not hyperplastic prostate cells.

Gary Brewer, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Identification and analyses of cis- and trans-acting factors controlling mRNA decay in cancer, heart disease and immune responses.

Nancy D. Connell, Ph.D. * - Newark - Using a combined approach of bacterial genetics and cell biology, we study the interaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with its host cell, the macrophage. We use mutants of this important pathogen to study intracellular amino acid and peptide metabolism within mouse and human macrophages. Antibiotics.

Kiron M. Das, M.D., Ph.D. * - Piscataway - A spectra of gastrointestinal disorders treated with state-of-the-art equipment and interdisciplinary approach. Various programs include: Esophagus, Stomach and Colon Cancer Prevention,Pancreas and Biliary Tract,Swallowing Disorders, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder, Peptic Ulcer and Liver Disease.

Gill Diamond, Ph.D. * - Newark - Studies on the molecular biology and mechanisms controlling expression of antimicrobial peptides, especially under conditions of injury, stress and infection. These peptides are found in phagocytic cells and mucosal tissues and may help us better understand host defense mechanisms. Antibiotics.

Scott R. Diehl, Ph.D. * - Newark - Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) are analyzed to understand molecular causes of disease and individual differences in drug responses. High-throughput bioinformatics and complex statistical genetic methods are used for current research on oral cancer, periodontal disease, orofacial clefting; pharmacogenomics of pain and drug responses.

Joseph P. Dougherty, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Retroviral replication and the design and use of retroviral vectors for somatic cell gene therapy, studies of retroviral mutation using retroviral vectors and packaging cells, and murine model for somatic cell gene therapy.

Patricia Fitzgerald-Bocarsly, Ph.D. * - Newark - Studies on the inate immune response to viral infection are focused on a dendritic cell subpopulation (DC2) that produces interferon-alpha in response to viral stimulation. Mechanisms of viral induction of IFN in these cells and their interactions with natural killer cells, and T helper cells are under investigation.

Grant Gallagher, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Key interests revolve around the regulation of Th2 responses in conditions such as asthma and the regulation of Th17 responses in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease and prostate cancer. There are developing interests in systemic lupus erythematosus and first-trimester miscarriage also. The work is directed towards the development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to such conditions. Disease models are used, but primarily the research uses human cells from both healthy individuals and patients. Email: g.gallagher@humigen.org

Beatrice Haimovich, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - i) Elucidation of signaling events and identification of tyrosine phosphorylated proteins that regulate platelet spreading, ii) Host responses to biomaterials.

Amjad A. Ilyas, Ph.D. * - Newark - We focus on the identification and characterization of autoantibodies to glycolipid and protein antigens in human demyelinating diseases, particularly the Guillain-Barre` syndrome. The role of antibodies to glycolipid antigens in the pathogenesis of neuropathy is under investigation.

Jerome A. Langer, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Our interests include how diverse Type I interferons are differentially recognized by a common cell surface receptor and sometimes initiate different cellular responses. We are also examining cellular responses to flaviviruses, particularly dengue virus.

Edmund C. Lattime, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Our laboratory studies tumor immunology and immunologically based gene therapy based on modulating immune mechanisms active at the tumor-host interface. We study immune mechanisms in both murine and human systems. Clinical trials focus on genetically based vaccine strategies.

Honghua L. Li, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - (1)Genome-scale understanding genetic basis of breast cancer by microdissecting individual invasive carcinoma components and accompanying proliferative lesions and by multiplex genotype analysis; and (2) understanding the mechanisms underlying human immunoglobulin VH gene complex diversification.

David M. Lukac, Ph.D. * - Newark - Molecular virology of Kaposi`s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (HHV-8) in the pathogenesis of Kaposi`s sarcoma and primary effusion lymphoma.

Nicholas Megjugorac, Ph.D. * - Stratford - My work is currently focused on three aspects of the IL-17 axis of inflammation. (I) Defining the role of IFN-lambda on Th17 differentiation and cytokine expression. (II) Characterizing differences in IL-17 signaling in normal and malignant prostate cells. (III) Identifying mRNA expression profiles in the whole blood of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Email: N.Megjugorac@Humigen.org

Andrew R. Pachner, M.D. * - Newark - We focus on detection of pathogen and characterization of host immune response in infections of the nervous system, particularly Lyme borreliosis. We extensively use molecular biological tools, such as PCR and microarrays.

Sidney Pestka, M.D. * - Piscataway - Research involves the cloning of interferons and their receptors, and the development of new strategies for the treatment of viral diseases and cancers. The studies involve interferon and cell surface receptors and revolve around genetic engineering, protein biochemistry, signal transduction, immunology and gene therapy.

Nicholas M. Ponzio, Ph.D. * - Newark - Use of experimental models to study: (1) development and treatment of B cell lymphomas and leukemias, and (2) transplantation of umbilical cord blood in lieu of bone marrow for treatment of various diseases in which hematopoiesis is compromised.

Christine M. Rohowsky-Kochan, Ph.D. * - Newark - Studies focus on the nature and regulation of autoreactive T cells in multiple sclerosis and on the viral etiology of multiple sclerosis. Emphasis is on the role of cytokines and their control. Utilize immunological and molecular techniques.

Yacov Ron, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Prevention and treatment of autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by the induction of clonal anergy to encephaltogenic determinants of myelin basic protein (MBP).

Nithianandan Selliah, Ph.D. * - Stratford - Research focus is to identify biomarkers in autoimmune diseases (SLE and IBD) with particular emphasis on T-cell & B-cell activation signaling. Secondary interest is to identify novel signaling pathways in prostate cancer cells and develop targets for therapy. Email: N.Selliah@Humigen.org

Yufang Shi, Ph.D., D.V.M. * - Piscataway - We are interested in understanding the role of apoptosis in regulating immune responses. The mechanisms controlling FASL, TRAIL, RANKL and TNF expression in T cells are the main focus. We are also studying psychoneuroimmunology, especially the effects of stress and opioids on the immune system.

Zoltan Spolarics, M.D., Ph.D. * - Newark - The project investigates the effects of genetic polymorphisms of metabolic enzymes and cytokines (IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ) on the immune response. We employ genetically modified mice using experimental models of infection in vivo. We also investigate macrophage and T-cell responses in vitro. The human component of the project investigates the effects of genetic polymorphisms on the immune response in trauma patients. Infection, immunity, T-cells, macrophages, red blood cells, chemokines, polymorphism, flow cytometry, injury, host-response, malaria.

Donald A. Winkelmann, Ph.D. * - Piscataway - Study of macromolecular structure and assembly with our efforts concentrated on the analysis of the protein myosin and its interaction with actin.

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