School of Medicine
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Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our research focuses on the identification of host genes that play critical roles in the pathogenesis of infectious agents including viruses. We use haploid genetic screens in human cells as an efficient approach to perform loss-of-function studies. Besides obtaining fundamental insights on how viruses hijack cellular processes and on host defense mechanisms, it may also facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Chia Yu Alex Chang
Postdoctoral Research fellow, Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an X-chromosome-linked genetic disease that is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene and affects 1 in every 3500 boys. DMD patients suffer progressive muscle wasting and eventual cardiorespiratory failure that results in an early death in the second or third decade of life. Although extensive research effort has been invested, lack of a good mouse model that mimics the cardiac failure hinders research. We have developed a novel mouse model that exhibit all the symptoms found in DMD patients and our research is aimed at understanding the cardiac failure in DMD for future therapeutic interventions. Our mouse model fully recapitulates the DMD symptoms because we also took into account of the size of human protection DNA on chromosomal ends (telomere) compared to mouse. We would like to study the cause of cardiac failure in our mouse model by 1) determine if telomere shortening is specific to cardiomyocytes, 2) evaluate the level of cellular damage caused by oxidative stress and 3) identify the source of oxidative stress. These experiments will help us to better understand cardiac failure in DMD patients and allow testing of therapeutic interventions.
Professor of Microbiology & Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Contribution of T cells to immunocompetence and autoimmunity; how the immune system clears infection, avoids autoimmunity and how infection impacts on the development of immune responses.
Christopher H. Contag
Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology), of Microbiology and Immunology and, by courtesy, of Radiology and of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly Interests We develop and use the tools of molecular imaging to understand oncogenesis, reveal patterns of cell migration in immunosurveillance, monitor gene expression, visualize stem cell biology, and assess the distribution of pathogens in living animal models of human biology and disease. Biology doesn't occur in "a vacuum" or on coated plates--it occurs in the living body and that's were we look for biological patterns and responses to insult.