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Keke Fairfax

Keke Fairfax Profile Picture

Assistant Professor of Parasitology
PhD Yale University
AB University of Chicago

Contact Info:

Training Group(s):
Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Molecular Signaling and Cancer Biology

Current Research Interests:

Infection by pathogens that range from parasites to bacteria elicits vigorous antibody responses critical for host protection. It is clear that optimal humoral immune responses depend on T follicular helper (TFH) cells and follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), which are subsets of immune cells that form direct, or cognate, interactions with B cells in secondary lymphoid organs to promote germinal center formation, isotype class-switching, and affinity maturation of the B cell receptor. While these two cell types have recently been well characterized, there remains a dearth of knowledge about the factors produced by TFH and FDCs that imprint organ specific trafficking on plasma cells, as well as memory and effector B cells. The overall focus of my research program uses the models I developed during my postdoctoral studies in B cell and TFH cell biology in response to the parasitic helminth Schistosoma mansoni, which chronically infects ~200 million people worldwide, to define the mechanisms of organ/lymphoid specific B cell trafficking in response to multiple infectious and protein based stimuli. I have two currently funded projects available to students.Project 1. Investigating the mechanism of Liver B cell priming and recruitment during chronic Schistosoma mansoni infection. This project uses multiple knockout and reporter mouse strains combined with microarrays to define a transcriptional and chemokine/cytokine signature that imprints tissue specific homing onto memory and effector B cells during the course of S. mansoni infection.Project 2. Development of a novel pathology reducing S. mansoni specific vaccine. This project aims to develop a subcutaneous vaccination strategy that leads to the early development of the protective S. mansoni specific liver plasma cell compartment, and the early immunomodulation of the granulomatous reaction to eggs.

Selected Publications:

Fairfax, K, Everts,B, Amiel E, Smith, A, Schramm G, Hass H, Randolph G, Taylor JJ, and Pearce, EJ. IL-4-Secreting secondary Tfh cells arise from memory T cells, not persisting Tfh cells, through a B cell dependent mechanism. J Immunol. Under revision.

Gautier EL, Ivanov S, Williams JW, Huang SC, Marcelin G, Fairfax K, Wang PL, Francis JS, Leone P, Wilson DB, et al. Gata6 regulates aspartoacylase expression in resident peritoneal macrophages and controls their survival. The Journal of experimental medicine. 2014: 211:1525-1531. doi:10.1084/jem.20140570

Fairfax, K, Everts,B, Smith, A, and Pearce, EJ. Regulation of the Development of the Hepatic B Compartment during Schistosoma mansoni infection (2014). J Immunol. 2013 Oct 15;191(8):4202-10

Fairfax, KC, Nascimento, M, Huang, S, Everts, B, and Pearce, E J. Host Th2 immune response in schistosomiasis (2012). Seminars in Immunopathology 34(6) 863-71.

Fairfax, KC, Amiel, E, King, I, Frietas, T, Mohrs, M and Pearce, E J. IL-10R blockade during chronic schistosomiasis mansoni results in the loss of B cells from the liver and the development of severe pulmonary disease (2012). PLoS Pathog 8(1): e1002490. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002490

Fairfax KC, Vermeire JJ, Bungiro RB, Harrison LM, Husain S, Cappello M. Characterisation of a fatty acid and retinol binding protein orthologue from the hookworm Ancylostoma ceylanicum (2009). Int. J. Parasitol. 39(14)1561-71

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