Email: [email protected]
Program: Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology Graduate Student
Year Entered: 2019
Thesis Advisor: Sara Hamilton Hart
Cerebral malaria is a major disease affecting human health, resulting from extensive neuroinflammation during Plasmodium infections. The primary drivers of immunopathology during severe malaria are CD8 T cells. These cells traffic to the brain and disrupt the blood brain barrier, leading to extensive edema. Current malaria treatments focus on limiting parasite dynamics, but there are few therapies that modulate the immune system in this disease. One therapeutic approach involves stimulating the immune system to take on a more immunosuppressive and protective phenotype. Recent research has defined a role for natural killer cells to dampen the immune response. Our lab seeks to define mechanisms in which natural killer cells protect the host by limiting overt T cell responses during infection. These discoveries can be used to develop new treatments that target immunopathology during infection and autoimmune disease.
BS, University of WI-Stout, 2017