three lab studnets in looking at data on a computer screen
Innate Immunity

The ability of immune cells - such as macrophages - to internalize particles by phagocytosis is central to the defense against pathogens.

Macrophages and dendritic cells of the innate immune response process antigens into structures that are recognized by T cells of the adaptive immune response. At M&I, this area of research involves many of us.

We use quantitative fluorometric and microscopic methods to delineate the mechanisms and regulation of phagocytosis.

Areas of Investigation

Within this field, we are studying several areas:

  • The mechanisms involved in antigen uptake and presentation to T cells, along with studies of how pathogens interfere with these processes
  • The innate immune responses to specific bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic pathogens
  • Macrophages that can sense bacterial molecules within the cytosol, which triggers expression of various cytokines, and other pro-inflammatory genes. We are seeking to identify signaling molecules and transcriptional regulators that are specific to this cytosolic surveillance pathway, using the Gram-positive intracytosolic bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes as a model pathogen.
  • The effects of innate immunity on pathogenesis of Vaccinia virus and in particular the mechanisms through which interferons and toll-like receptor signaling pathways affect vaccinia viral replication and spread in the lung. We are focusing on understanding the cellular and molecular effectors involved in the initiation of immunity to model fungal pathogens such as Cryptococcus neoformans.
Faculty researching Innate Immunity
Cheong-HeeChang-1200x1500.png Cheong-Hee C H Chang, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Kathleen L. Collins Kathleen Collins, MD, PhD
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Education and Training
Katherine Gallagher Katherine Gallagher, MD
Leland Ira Doan Research Professor of Vascular Surgery
Associate Chair, Department of Vascular Surgery Section
Professor of Surgery and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
goldstein-daniel Daniel R Goldstein, MD
Eliza Maria Mosher Collegiate Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Research Professor
Institute of Gerontology
headshot of Gary Huffnagle Gary B Huffnagle, PhD
Nina and Jerry D Luptak Research Professor
Research Professor
Mary H Weiser Food Allergy Center
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
labcoat Yasmina Laouar, PhD
Program Director, Microbiology and Immunology DEI Initiatives
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Bethany B. Moore Bethany Moore, PhD
Nancy Walls Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Professor of Internal Medicine
headshot of eresa OMeara-Teresa-2023.png Teresa O'Meara, PhD
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
headshot of Mary ORiordan Mary O'Riordan, PhD
Frederick C Neidhardt Collegiate Professor
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
MICHAL A OLSZEWSKI Michal A Olszewski, DVM, PhD
Professor of Internal Medicine
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Malini Raghavan Malini Raghavan, PhD
Nancy Walls Research Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Director Academic Programs
Immunology Graduate Program
swanson-joel Joel Swanson, PhD
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
wang-yifan Yifan Wang, DVM, PhD
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology