Researcher | Research Overview
My research focuses on the study of pathogenesis and vaccine development for important pediatric pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, Salmonella Typhi, Salmonella paratyphi and Staphylococcus aureus.
Two arms of the adaptive immune system, antibody and T cell, are important for protection against bacterial colonization and infection. We have discovered that CD4+-Th17 cells are important for pneumococcal colonization and performed multiple screens to identify antigens that can induce either or both arms of immunity. These antigens have been applied to a novel Multiple Antigen Presenting System (MAPS) to develop the next generation of pneumococcal vaccine. Further characterization of these antigens is an active area of research in the laboratory.
Infection by Salmonella Typhi or paratyphi is still a major concern for developing countries. A new bivalent vaccine using MAPS technology targeting these two pathogens is developed in the lab and tested in various animal models. Further development of this vaccine to clinics is on the way.
The Gram-positive bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is a common human pathogen that causes a wide range of infections, which can involve the skin (such as in boils or cellulitis), as well as many other organs (including the lungs, the heart, bone and joints, among others) or cause shock syndromes. Mechanism for protection against S. aureus, including antibody to surface proteins and Th1, Th17 and Th22 immunity, is being studied in the lab aiming to find a better vaccine against this pathogen.
Researcher | Research Background
Yingjie Lu obtained his PhD in Biophysics from Tsinghua University. After completion of a postdoctoral training in St. Jude Children’s Hospital, he joined Boston Children's Hospital where he continues to develop vaccines against pediatric infections.