Major themes

The research group of the IDIGH Program at the Centre for Translational Biology (CTB) is focused on five major themes:

  1. Respiratory infections (tuberculosis and influenza)
  2. Viral infections (HIV, Hepatitis B and C virus)
  3. Allergy, auto-immunity and immune regulation in health and disease (systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, food allergy, dermatitis)
  4. Fungal and bacterial infections and immune impaired patients (aspergillosis, candidiasis, pseudomonas and cystic fibrosis)
  5. Global and neglected infectious diseases (malaria, leprosy, leishmaniasis, helminthiasis)

Translational Immunology

Theme leader: Dr. Ciriaco Piccirillo

  • Genetics
  • Functional characterization of genetics of inflammatory responses
  • Lymphocyte biology and mouse modeling
  • Development of novel mouse models of autoimmune, allergic, infectious diseases and cancer
  • Human immunology
  • Molecular basis of T cell function in health and disease
  • Identification and validation of prognostic biomarkers of  immune diseases.
  • Development of diagnostic blood tests  for immune disorders
  • Role of stem cells in immune diseases
  • Immunotherapeutics
  • Evaluation of anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory drugs

Parasitic Diseases

Theme leader: Dr. Brian Ward

  • Development & evaluation of diagnostic tests for parasitic diseases
  • Prognostic biomarkers for neglected tropical diseases
  • In vitro and in vivo models for parasitic diseases to study host-pathogen interactions, therapies and vaccines
  • Virus-like particle vectors to deliver immunomodulators

Fungal Diseases

Theme leader: Dr. Donald Sheppard

  • Discovery research in host-fungal interactions in the immunocompromised host
  • Mouse models of fungal disease
  • Role of fungi in asthma and chronic lung disease
  • Fungal-bacterial interactions in human disease
  • Development and validation of novel diagnostics and therapeutics for fungal infection
  • Vaccines for prevention of fungal diseases

Respiratory Infections

Theme leader: Dr. Marcel Behr

  • Molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis
  • Bacterial genomic studies of pathogenic mycobacteria
  • Genetics-squared studies on host recognition of mycobacterial infection
  • Evaluation of new diagnostic tests for detection of TB
  • Influenza vaccine development

Viral Infection

Theme leaders: Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy and Dr. Nicole Bernard

  • Investigation of the role and determinants of antibody dependent functions in HIV control
  • The influence of KIR/HLA genotypes on protection from HIV infection
  • Interaction between HIV infected cells and autologous NK cells
  • The role of immune checkpoints, immunometabolic factors and drug penetration in HIV persistence in tissue reservoirs (lymph node, gut and testes)
  • Dysregulations in tryptophan metabolism and purinergic signalling associated with immune activation in HIV infection
  • Clinical trials for new HIV and HCV vaccines
  • Evaluation of new HIV tests and their acceptance
A. fumigatus with GAG of cell wall stained with soybean agglutinin (green) – by S. Baistrocchi (Sheppard lab)
A. fumigatus with GAG of cell wall stained with soybean agglutinin (green) – by S. Baistrocchi (Sheppard lab)