PCMM | Immune Defense

Immune defense is the coordinated, complicated interplay of cellular mechanisms and antibodies to fight disease-causing agents, including viruses, bacteria, and other types of infection.

A prime example of our research in immune defense is an aggressive study of the role and specificity of a key element in our adaptive immune system: how killer T cells eliminate infectious cells.

Significant progress has occurred in understanding how a vaccine based on a protein derived from a common bacterium may prompt a potent T cell defense against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This work will have substantial impact in a more general understanding of how T cells can be marshaled to fight viruses and tumors.

Investigators have identified the following scientific challenges in this area of concentration:

  • Understanding the regulation of T cell response in chronic infections
  • Understanding how to regulate and manipulate killer T cells at the molecular level
  • Discovering the role of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in immune defense
  • Methods for inducing T cells specific for cancer and for viruses

PCMM Scientists studying immune defense

Anne Goldfeld, MD
Anne Goldfeld 
 Sun Hur, PhD
Sun Hur 
Tomas Kirchhausen, PhD
Tom Kirchhausen

Judy Lieberman

Eileen Remold-O'Donnell 
   Florian Winau, MD    
Florian Winau

               Hao Wu