Department of Infectious Diseases
Associate Professor

Immunology | Infectious Diseases | Virology


Research Interests

Regulation of host defense and tolerance by Stat transcription factors​


My research is devoted to understanding the mechanisms that regulate host defense on one hand and tolerance on the other. Signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stats) are a family latent cytosolic transcription factors activated by cytokins and growth factors that regulate this pivotal balance. Activated Stats impart distinct effect or functions on developing naive CD4+ T cells to tune adaptive immune responses. The activation of Stat4 by interleukin 12 (IL-12) and related cytokines is critically important in the defense against intracellular pathogens through the Stat4-dependent induction of the potent inflammatory cytokine, interferon-y (IFN-y). This pathway is particularly relevant in light of the recent escalation in the incidence of multi-drug resistant forms of tuberculosis, a leading cause of infectious death. In order to better understand the physiologic functions of Stat4 as they pertain to cell-mediated immunity, we have performed microarray analysis to identify genes regulated by IL-12. Among many IL-12 inductible genes, we identified the mitogene- activated protein kinase Tpl2 (aka MAP3K8)as a bonafide Stat4 target gene. Current research is aimed at understanding the contribution(s) of Tpl2and other Stat4 target genes to the regulation of T helper cell development and host immune responses to infectious and autoimmune disease settings.

Selected Publications


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