My laboratory is focused on understanding T cell immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other infections, as well as self-antigens in the context of neurodegenerative diseases.
Specifically, the identification of T cell epitopes and characterization of T cell subsets resulting from the immune response to tuberculosis. Our work has illustrated that the T cell immune response is broader than previously understood. This led to the development of a peptide megapool (MTB300) that can be used to characterize TB-specific T cell immune responses, which has been used by multiple collaborators to characterize TB-specific or vaccine-induced responses.
We are also interested in defining the role of non-tuberculous mycobacteria in the immune response against TB and vaccinations.
Finally, we study T cell responses directed against self-proteins with implications for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. This work has identified α-synuclein as a target for T cell immune responses in Parkinson’s disease (PD) which provided evidence that autoimmunity plays a role in PD.
Our goal is to understand these immune responses better to help develop better diagnostics and more effective therapies.
The aim of this work funded by Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP), in collaboration with Dr. Alessandro Sette, is to
The aim of this work, in collaboration with Dr. Bjoern Peters, is to identify and characterize T cell epitopes from
Awards & Honors
- 2020 Tullie and Rickey Families SPARK Awards Winner
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Collaboration for TB Vaccine Discovery – Early Career Scientist Award Fall 2016