CENTER FOR INFLAMMATION, IMMUNITY & INFECTION
Center director Jian-Dong Li is one of three Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholars among the institute’s faculty.
Dr. Baozhong Wang was awarded a $3.26 million federal grant to develop a universal flu vaccine that offers more protection than seasonal vaccines.
Dr. Richard Plemper has received a $5 million federal grant to develop an antiviral drug to treat influenza virus infections.
Dr. Baozhong Wang has received a $3.86 million federal grant to develop a universal flu vaccine using a microneedle patch that will protect against any strain of influenza virus.
Dr. Richard Plemper was awarded a $2.2 million federal grant to develop combination therapies for respiratory syncytial virus and related respiratory viruses.
Dr. Andrew Gewirtz has received a $2.1 million federal grant to study how enriching foods with dietary fiber affects host and gut microbiota interactions to influence the development of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.
- Dr. Richard Plemper, 2019
Germy Newborn Days May Thwart Colon Cancer Later
Exposure to microorganisms in the early stages of life may set the stage for lower colon cancer risk in adulthood, according to new research.
Researchers explored how exposure to microbiota in utero and in the weeks after birth contributed to the development of colitis-associated cancer in mice later in life. Until now, the effects of prenatal and early postnatal microbial exposure on adult health and disease outcomes have received relatively limited research focus.
"OUR FINDINGS SHOW THAT A KEY TIMING OF KEY TIMING OF EXPOSURE TO THE MICROBIOTA AND MICROBIOTA METABOLITES MAY ACTUALLY BE VERY EARLY IN LIFE."
- Timothy Denning, Ph.D.
Dr. Jian-Dong Li is the founding director of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences. He is responsible for leading the joint effort to establish a leading multidisciplinary research and degree-granting institute at Georgia State. The Institute for Biomedical Sciences is dedicated to advancing fundamental and innovative biomedical research that improves human health, as well as educating and training future generations of leading biomedical scientists and health professionals.
Dr. Tim Denning, professor at Georgia State and associate director of the Institute for Biomedical Sciences, specializes in research on how antigen presenting cells regulate adaptive immune responses at mucosal surfaces. In particular, he is interested in how intestinal macrophages and dendritic cells control CD4+ T cell differentiation and function in the intestine during homeostasis and inflammatory conditions. The research has applications for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic, relapsing inflammatory disorder of the digestive tract.
Dr. Andrew Gewirtz, a Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State, specializes in research on innate immunity, microbiome, intestinal inflammation and obesity/diabetes. Inflammation plays a central role in many disease states, and his goal is to understand the normal mechanisms by which pro-inflammatory signals protect against microbes and discern how they go awry in disease states. His primary area of focus is on the intestinal epithelium.
Dr. Sang-Moo Kang, professor at Georgia State, is focused on research to design and develop effective vaccines against viral diseases such as influenza virus and respiratory syncytial virus, to better understand vaccine-induced protective immune mechanisms, to study pathogen-induced inflammation and to develop anti-inflammatory therapeutics. The research is significant for the development of effective and universal flu vaccines and/or vaccination, creating a vaccine against RSV which does not currently exist and understanding neonatal immunology, vaccine-induced immunity and protective immune mechanisms and serious inflammatory pathogens, among other applications.
Dr. Didier Merlin is a Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State and Research Career Scientist at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Decatur, Ga. His research area is the study of intestinal epithelia, as directly related to intestinal bowel disease (IBD). Over one million adults and children in the U.S., including members of the VA population, suffer from IBD, and about 50,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. The VA IBD patients have a much higher rate of colorectal cancer compared to the general population. New therapeutic strategies based on a better understanding of the pathogenesis of IBD will improve the clinical care of veteran and non-veteran patients with this disorder.
Dr. Richard Plemper, a Distinguished University Professor at Georgia State, specializes in myxovirus pathogenesis and the development of therapeutics against myxovirus infection. His research is primarily focused on understanding how RNA viruses of the myxovirus families (influenza virus and human pathogens of the paramyxovirus family) enter cells and replicate their genetic information, and applying this insight to the development of novel antiviral therapeutic strategies.
Dr. Baozhong Wang, professor at Georgia State, is focused on the interaction of viral pathogens with the host immune system. He studies how viral antigens (particularly influenza and HIV antigens) trigger immune responses, with specific emphasis at the crossroads of vaccines and bioengineering through the use of protein nanotechnology and controlled releases in vaccine development.