Immunology Research


Research in the area of immunology in the department focuses on the response of the immune system to bacterial, parasitic and viral pathogens. Topics of research interest in this area include evasion of the immune response and persistence, molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory responses and vaccine development for a variety of microbial pathogens. Specific research programs include:  vaccine design for Brucella Abortus, West Nile Virus, Dengue Virus, Herpes viruses and Bovine Coronavirus and Herpesvirus Type-1. The lymphocyte-mediated response to Bartonella and nematode infection, the analysis of the innate and adaptive immune response to respiratory syncytial virus and human metapneumovirus infections, as well as the study of the innate immune/inflammatory response in the lung to bacterial infection are also investigated. Supporting facilities for immunology research in the Department include Flow Cytometry facility, the histology laboratory, the microscope center, the laboratory of animal medicine, BSL-3 suites, a centralized cell and tissue culture laboratory and the Division of Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (BioMMED) that includes centralized facilities for molecular biology (GeneLab), whole animal in vivo Imaging, recombinant viral vectors, and the antibody production and purification facilities.


T. Klei, PhD, Professor. Interaction between nematode parasites and their hosts particularly as this pertains to models of lymphatic Filariasis and equine gastrointestinal parasites. Mechanisms of parasite establishment, pathogenesis and immunity are being studied at the animal and molecular levels.


K. G. Kousoulas, PhD, Professor. Molecular genetics and immunopathogenesis of herpesviruses. Role of herpesvirus glycoproteins in infection and neuronal transport. Live attenuated vaccines for herpes simplex virus.  Subunit and viral-vectored vaccines for West Nile Virus, Bovine Coronavirus, Dengue virus.


P. Elzer, PhD, Professor. Bacterial pathogenesis focusing on host-parasite interactions and immunity of Brucella species, small ruminant diseases, and vaccine development of numerous ungulate pathogens.


A. Guerrero-Plata, PhD, Associate Professor. Anti-viral immunity to human respiratory viruses focusing on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate viral pathogenesis and lung disease.


S. Jeyaseelan (Jey),  DVM, PhD, Professor and Director of Lung Biology Research. Pulmonary inflammation and host defense focusing on the role of receptor-mediated signaling upon binding of bacteria and/or their products in the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases in the lung. 


J. Miller, Ph.D., Professor. Evaluate the genetic and immunological basis for breed resistant to gastrointestinal nematode infection in sheep. Evaluate novel (non-chemical) approaches for protection against nematode infection in small ruminants in conjunction with strategic use of anthelmintics. 


F. Liang, Ph.D., Associate Professor. Mechanisms Borrelia burgdorferi uses to evade the immune system and to cause persistent infection.