Host-Pathogen Working Group

Infectious disease continues to be an important medical concern. New antibiotics are being tested to treat increasingly resistant bacteria, and new anti-viral drugs are being developed. Yet we are still facing major challenges, as new emerging infectious diseases are discovered, and diseases thought to be near eradication are re-emerging in both developing and developed countries. Thus, modern medical research needs to continue the search to understand the sources of infectious microbes and their interaction with the human body. To meet this challenge, a group of research scientists at the UC Riverside School of Medicine have been working together to understand the interactions between pathogenic microbes and their human hosts. With a greater understanding of these mechanisms, we will be able to identify factors that will help increase our resistance to infectious disease, including innate and adaptive immunity, microbial ecology, and the role of vaccines and antimicrobial agents.

Our working group consists of several research labs in the School of Medicine with complementary experience and research interests in host-pathogen interactions and inflammatory responses to infection. Our studies focus on:

  • Analysis of specialized innate immune cells in tissues such as the central nervous system and the intestine.
  • The role of specialized soluble factors in the regulation of tissue responses to infection and inflammation.
  • The ecology of microbial populations in the intestine and the balance between commensal and pathogenic bacteria.
  • Immune response to parasite pathogens including Toxoplasma gondii, Nippostrongylus.
  • Novel vaccine strategies for immunity to viruses such as Dengue, Zika, Influenza.

Our group meets regularly and we have developed several collaborative projects yielding numerous high impact publications.