Immunology and Infectious Diseases

The Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases focuses on the biological, immunological, epidemiological, and ecological aspects of viral, bacterial, protozoan, and helminthic diseases of animals and humans and the vectors that transmit some of these infectious agents. Research emphasizes basic pathogenic mechanisms that may lead to better diagnostic tools, the development of vaccines and other immune interventions for prevention and control of infection and disease, and the identification of new targets for antiviral and antiparasite drugs. Laboratory-based research may be supplemented by field-based studies of epidemiological and ecological aspects of infectious disease transmission and control. Diseases of developing countries are emphasized, including HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other parasitic diseases. Immunologic studies focus on genetic regulation of the immune response; molecular mechanisms of the regulation of class II genes; the function and regulation of T-cell-derived cytokines; and cytokines involved in the regulation of inflammation.