Interdisciplinary Life Science - PULSe Great research is a matter of choice

Immunology and Infectious Diseases

Research includes:

  • Antibiotic and Antiviral Drug Development and Design
  • Cellular Microbiology
  • Functional Genomics
  • Gene Expression
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Immunology
  • Inflammation
  • Microbial Genomics
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Pathogenesis
  • Signal Transduction
  • Systems Biology
  • Virus Assembly
  • Virus Structure
  • Vaccine Development

Training Group Mission:

The goal of our Training Group is to prepare the next generation of research scientists, teachers, and decision-makers to address fundamental problems in immunology and infectious diseases. The Training Group offers an integrated, interdisciplinary environment for students to learn about the body’s preparation for and responses to infection, injury, and inflammation, and the molecular mechanisms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious diseases. Students in the Immunology and Infectious Diseases Training Group develop a broad understanding of biochemistry, cellular biology, host-pathogen interactions, immunology, microbiology, and molecular biology. This training provides students with a strong foundation in basic and applied research that will prepare them for a wide range of careers in academia, government and industry.

Faculty Membership

Research Area

Plant host-viral interactions; identification, characterization of molecular markers for resistance genes; cellular and functional genomics

Mechanism(s) of liver cancer pathogenesis by the Hepatitis B Virus X protein. Signal transduction networks in neuronal development and cancer pathogenesis.

Transcriptional regulation in poxviruses
Development of small molecules, peptides and peptidomimetics for drug discovery, bionanotechnology, and cellular delivery of therapeutic agents

Chemical Immunology: Cell specific chemical perturbation of immune microenvironments in cancer, neurological and immunological disorders

Design and synthesis of molecules that interact with enzymes and membrane-bound receptors
Biomaterials, Musculoskeletal Regenerative Engineering, Micro/Nano-technology, Stem Cell Technology, Translational Biomedical Research
Leukocytes response to infection, discovery of agents to suppress inflamation
Parasitology, Immunology, Cellular Trafficking, Vaccine Development
Targeted cytokine therapies for inflammatory bone loss (arthritis) as well as metastatic prostate cancer; Cellular therapies based on mesenchymal stem cells for arthritis and cancer; Drug discovery of small molecules targeted to the laminin receptor for arthritis and cancer
Use of chemistry as a tool to elucidate biological mechanisms
Structural cell biology of infection, immunity, and aging
Mechanism of the transfer to and expression of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens Ti-plasmid in plant cells
Structural basis for RNA function
Molecular biology of arthropod vectors of disease, with an emphasis on vector-pathogen interactions, characterization of arthropod G protein-coupled receptors, and insecticide discovery.
Structure of tailed dsDNA bacteriophages and Flaviviruses; Membrane protein structure by 2-D crystallization; Cryo-EM method development; Large scale computing for cryo-EM image processing
veterinary pathology, molecular pathology, immunopathology, mouse models of human disease, inflammatory bowel disease, microbiome, colon cancer, dengue virus

Our lab focuses on acquiring and utilizing high throughput sequencing data (e.g. RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, ATAC-seq) to develop new computational models and biological assays to study genome regulation and human diseases, in particular immune related disorders and cancer. We are now working on the discovery and modeling of the regulatory circuitry of the non-coding genome which is essential for maintaining normal cellular physiology.

Immune cell development, trafficking and effector function
Epigenetic processes that mediate heritable modifications to chromatin
Viral gene expression; virus-host interactions; pathogenesis; virus receptors and virus assembly
Systems biology of host-pathogen interactions; dengue virus; malaria parasites; protein-protein interactions

Immunotherapy, A regulatory mechanism of anti-tumor immunity, A resistance mechanism of target therapy and/or immunotherapy, Antibody engineering

Diagnostic pathology, molecular pathology, and immunohistopathology of infectious, toxic, and neoplastic diseases
Dietary controls on the gut microbiome, host-microbe and microbe-microbe metabolic exchange, gut inflammation and enteropathogenesis
Molecular Virology - function of viral genes in virus replication, disease development, and virus control
Development of targeted therapic and imaging agents for cancer and various inflammatory diseases. Function and molecular organization of the human red blood cell membrane. Novel methods for detection of human pathogens.
Type IV protein secretion of Legionella pneumophila; intracellular multiplication and trafficking of bacterial pathogens

Cancer immunotherapy, nanomedicine, natural killer cells, gene and drug delivery, cryopreservation

Biochemistry, Signal Transduction, Microbiology
Molecular Genetics of Plant Immunity - with emphasis on host defense response to necrotrophic fungi
Gene-to-Lead Drug Discovery
Immune mechanisms of inflammatory diseases; T cell differentiation and function
Computational chemistry and biological NMR
Microbial pathogenesis; host-parasite interactions; molecular detection and differentiation of microbial pathogens; recombinant and DNA vaccines
Structure of picornaviruses, parvoviruses, alphaviruses and bacteriophages, fX174, f29, T4; molecular evolution
Entry of retroviruses and other enveloped viruses into cells; mechanism of enzymatic phosphoryl transfer
1) Ebola virus and Marburg virus assembly and budding from the host cell plasma membrane.
2) Ceramide-1-phosphate and other sphingolipids signaling in cancers.
3) Zika virus and alteration of host cell lipid metabolism.
4) Disovery of new lipid-binding proteins.​
Oncogene expression in eukaryotic cells
Organic synthesis, nanostructured materials science, self-assembly principles to produce exotic materials with physical or biomimetic function
Cancer metastasis and development of resistance to targeted molecular therapies.
Salmonella typhimurium Type III secretion; actin cytoskeleton rearrangements and bacteria-host interactions

Ernest C. Young Hall, Room 170 | 155  S. Grant Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2114 | 765-494-2600

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