Host-Pathogen Interaction Laboratory
© 2015 - 2016 Uzonna (Created by F. Khadem)
Professor, Manitoba Health Research Chair Professor in Immunology, Department of Immunology, Department of Medical Microbiology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba. Address: Department of Immunology, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 750 McDermot Avenue, 425 Apotex Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 0T5. Phone: 1-204-977-5659 Fax: 1-204-789-3921 Email:
Parasitic   diseases   continue   to   be   one   of   the   major   causes   of mortality    and    morbidity    around    the    world    (particularly    in developing   countries)   and   afflict   more   people   than   any   other infectious    disease.    Sadly,    despite    the    high    mortality    and morbidity   and   enormous   socio-economic   impact   of   parasitic diseases,   not   much   interest   is   shown   in   this   area   of   research and   parasitic   diseases   remain   relatively   neglected   in   terms   of research   investment.   In   Dr.   Uzonna’s   laboratory,   we   study two     diseases     caused     by     protozoan     parasites     namely: Leishmaniasis  and African trypanosomiasis . We   utilize   cellular   and   molecular   immunologic   approaches   to study   host-pathogen   interactions   that   result   in   susceptibility or   resistance   to   these   diseases.      We   have   taken   these   two- prong   (host   and   pathogen)   approach   because   we   believe   "it takes    two    to    tango"    and    that    the    outcome    of    infection    is influenced   by   the   intricate   interactions   between   the   host   and the    pathogen.        The    overarching    question    that    we    seek answer to is: “what      host      and      parasite      factors      contribute      to susceptibility     or     resistance     following     infection     with Leishmania or African Trypanosome?” Two     major     host     factors     of     particular     interest     to     our laboratory   are   regulatory   T   cells   and   memory   T   cells.   Some   of the questions we ask are: Do      memory      cells      develop      after      infection      with protozoan     parasites?          If     they     do,     how     are     they generated     and     are     they     important     in     resistance following secondary exposure? What   causes   the   loss   of   acquired   immunity   in   animals that     effectively     controlled     their     primary     parasitic infection? How    can    regulatory    T    cells    be    activated    to    prevent immune    cell    hyper-activation    and    the    subsequent pathology associated with such activation? From    the    parasite's    side,    we    are    interested    in    parasite- derived factors that: Enhance      the      invasion      process            resulting      in establishment of infection Contribute to the take-over of host immune defenses Alter   the   host   immune   system   to   make   it   permissible for parasite proliferation (immunomodulation). We   utilize   a   variety   of   animal   models,   including   targeted   gene knockout   and   transgenic   mice,   genetically   modified   parasites, and    more    recently,    proteomics    to    dissect    cellular    immune responses    following    protozoan    infections.        Although    we primarily   use   mouse   models   in   our   studies,   we   are   working towards   finding   vaccines   for   humans   and   livestock.   Some   of our   vaccine   candidates   are   in   the   early/planning   stages   of conducting protection studies in non-human primates. If   you   are   interested   in   finding   a   cure   and/or   vaccines   against poverty-associated   and   neglected   diseases   of   the   developing world,   come   and   join   the   dynamic   and   enthusiastic   team   of trainees and researchers in Dr. Uzonna’s Lab.
Dr. Jude Uzonna Dr. Jude Uzonna
Welcome to Uzonna Lab
Another       important       research activity       going       on       in       our laboratory               (Host-Pathogen Interaction    Laboratory)    involves understanding   the   pathogenesis of Sepsis/Septic Shock   Sepsis   syndrome   (also   known   as systemic   inflammatory   response associated   with   infection,   sepsis, severe   sepsis,   and   septic   shock) is   a   condition   characterized   by   a whole-body    inflammatory    state and   the   presence   of   a   known   or suspected        bacteria,        usually gram-negative organisms.  Sepsis      syndrome      and      septic shock        are        common        and frequently            fatal            clinical conditions   in   all   age   groups   and are   leading   causes   of   mortality   in intensive   care   units,   particularly in     children     and     older     adults. Therefore,      understanding      the pathogenesis   of   the   disease   is   an important           step           towards designing      appropriate      clinical interventions   both   for   preventive and treatment purposes. We   have   successfully   developed a         laboratory         model         of lipopolysaccharide       -       induced acute    inflammation    leading    to septic    shock    in    mice.    We    have also    developed    an    Escherichia coli-induced             model             of inflammation    in    mice.    We    are using   both   models   to   interrogate the   role   of   regulatory   T   cells,   a subset    of    T    cells    that    act    to restrain          and/or          suppress excessive      immune      activation, and     phosphoinositide     3-kinase (PI3K),        a        key        intracellular signalling              enzyme,              in ameliorating     sepsis     and     acute inflammatory    responses.    There are      ongoing      clinical      studies aimed    at    expanding    autologous human   regulatory   T   cells   in   vitro , for     in     vivo      infusion     to     treat autoimmune        disorders.        We envisage    situations    where    this could     also     be     done     for     the management      of      sepsis      and septic shock in patients.
Parasitic Disease Research Parasitic Disease Research Sepsis/Septic Shock Research Sepsis/Septic Shock Research R G