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Infection & Immunity

The host responds within itself
To ever present pestilence
Their PAMPs, its DAMPs, engage/ignite
A protective squad of leukocytes, which promptly mediate defense
Unless, through stress, their sense of self becomes confused with something else
And lymphocytes, the grand defenders, turn on self as their agenda

The infection and immunity research cluster carries out research aimed at improving the health of people and domestic animals, and welcomes interest from potential industry partners.

Focus The immune system is a complex hierarchy of responses to agents in the environment, collectively called non-self. These agents include viruses, bacteria, protozoan parasites, parasitic worms, ectoparasites, fungi, transformed mutant cells, and vaccines modeled on these.

Researchers The cluster is comprised of 18 research laboratories. Seven of these laboratories study immune regulation and dysregulation in health and disease, while 11 study the physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology of pathogens and related organisms.

Immunity Cluster Researchers in the immunity cluster develop and use models of diseases of people and domestic animals including autoimmune disease (aplastic anemia and multiple sclerosis), malignant disease and infectious diseases. They perform studies in ruminants, genetically engineered mouse strains and cell lines using pathogens that include Trypanosoma spp., Theileria spp., Leptospira spp., Borrelia spp., Brucella spp., Mycobacteria spp., and Chlamydia spp.

Pathogen Cluster Researchers in the pathogen cluster study diverse aspects of microbial biology including protein folding, DNA replication, mechanisms of quorum sensing and chemotaxis, production of and response to antimicrobial agents, identification of virulence factors as well as pathways that lead to symbiosis, and novel biochemical pathways that may serve as drug targets. Pathogens under investigation include Staphylococcus spp, Listeria spp, Helicobacter spp, Bacillus spp, Mycobacteria spp, and Chlamydia spp.

Technology Researchers in both clusters use the tools of the modern life scientist including immunochemistry, flow cytometry, cell imaging, live animal imaging, mouse, cell line, and pathogen genetic engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology procedures including next generation sequencing, mass spectrometry and NMR.

 

Infection & Immunity

Contact Info

Cynthia Baldwin, Veterinary and Animal Sciences
(413) 545-3167
cbaldwin@vasci.umass.edu

Sam Black, Veterinary and Animal Sciences
(413) 545-2573
sblack@vasci.umass.edu

Wilmore Webley, Microbiology
(413) 577-3139
Wilmore@microbio.umass.edu

Research Highlights