Fidel Zavala, M.D.
Keywords: T cells- memory-microbial infections-vaccines
Characterization of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the development of effector and memory CD8+ T cells against intracellular pathogens.
Our research focuses on the characterization of the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in the induction of T cell mediated immunity against liver stages of malaria. We generated transgenic mice expressing T cell receptors specific for malaria antigens recognized by CD8+ T cells. Using these mice, we are currently conducting studies to characterize the molecular and genetic events involved in the induction of effector CD8+ T cells and the elucidation of the regulatory pathways involved in the development of memory cell subsets and their respective functional properties. Special emphasis is given to the characterization of the mechanism by which effector and memory CD8+ T cells circulate and home to non-lymphoid organs where they eliminate microbe-infected cells. The use of microbial systems is essential to gain new insights on the mechanisms underlying the development of immune responses, as they occur in vivo. These studies enhance our understanding of the immune system at the most fundamental level.
Publications and Interests: https://jhu.pure.elsevier.com/en/persons/fidel-p-zavala