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Updates about researches at i³D that are focusing on the breakthrough field that examines the link between infectious and inflammatory diseases. Recent studies by researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School already have led them to develop breakthrough technologies in molecular biology that are now used for more rapid detection of tuberculosis.

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Rutgers Creates COVID-19 Center to Fight Pandemic

March 24th, 2020

The Rutgers University Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness (CCRP2) serves as an institutional hub for COVID-19 research activities and information dissemination. The rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic present unprecedented challenges to global health and scientific discovery. In 2020, Rutgers University created the CCRP2, a part of the Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases, to quickly respond to the global COVID-19 pandemic and to stimulate transformative solutions for challenges at the local, national and international levels.Read More

Welcome Dongfang Liu, MD, PhD!

November 1st, 2018

Dongfang Liu, MD, PhD recently joined the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine as an Associate Professor.

In 2012, Dr. Liu was recruited to Baylor College of Medicine as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Department of Pathology & Immunology, before joining Houston Methodist Hospital (a teaching hospital affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical College) as a scientist in 2015. In 2018, Dr. Liu was promoted to an Associate Professor in Houston Methodist Research Institute. Dr. Liu did his postdoctoral training on natural killer (NK) cells at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in National Institutes of Health (NIH) from 2005 to 2011. After completing the postdoctoral training, he joined Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard in 2011 as a senior research scientist, where he worked on HIV-specific CTL dysfunction with a focus on PD-1 in HIV-specific CTLs.

Dr. Liu’s current research is primarily focused on the immunobiology of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T and NK cells, immunoreceptors, CAR immunotherapy, and HIV-specific CTLs in chronic HIV and its related malignancies, with a focus on immunological synapse biology and its clinical applications. Dr. Liu’s research is supported by several NIH grants, including an R01 and three R21 grants.

Welcome Huijuan Hu, PhD!

August 1st, 2018

Huijuan Hu, PhD recently joined the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Department of Anesthesiology as an Associate Professor. Dr. Hu came to Rutgers New Jersey Medical School from Drexel University College of Medicine where she was an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology.

Dr. Hu's laboratory aims to understand the mechanisms underlying the development of chronic pain and to identify novel drug targets and drug candidates for the treatment of chronic pain. Dr Hu’s research has concentrated on the role of store-operated calcium channels (SOCs) in pain plasticity. In addition, Dr. Hu is interested in investigating whether maternal pain exposure alters pain behavior in offspring. Dr. Hu and her laboratory employs a variety of approaches including behavioral tests, patch clamp electrophysiology, live-cell imaging, biochemical and molecular biology in our current studies.

Welcome Jason Scott Weinstein, PhD!

July 26th, 2018

Effective August 1, 2018, Jason Scott Weinstein, PhD will join the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Department of Medicine as an Assistant Professor and Chancellor Scholar.

Dr. Weinstein is currently an Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, at Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Weinstein's current research is primarily focused on understanding how the signals from CD4+ T cells that regulate B cells in the chronic autoreactive state compare to those in an acute infectious response, and how these adaptive immune cells malfunction in the germinal center response in autoimmunity.

Welcome Nataki C. Douglas, MD, PhD!

June 1st, 2018

Nataki C. Douglas, MD, PhD is an Associate Professor and Director of Translational Research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health and a member of the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Institute for Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases. Read More

Dr. Dane Parker joined the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

April 4th, 2018

Dr. Dane Parker joined the Center for Immunity and Inflammation and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in April 2018 as a tenure-track Assistant Professor, where he studies the interaction between bacterial pathogens and the innate immune system.

Dr. Parker obtained his PhD from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia where his focus on was the genetics and transcriptional regulation of the pathogen responsible for ovine foot rot. In 2007 he moved to the laboratory of Professor Alice Prince at Columbia University where he gained skills in working with several important human bacterial pathogens responsible for respiratory and skin infections. He also gained experience with host innate immune signaling pathways important for the detection of microorganisms. A major focus of his research is the type I and type III interferon signaling pathways, how bacterial pathogens can activate this pathway and how they influence inflammation and bacterial clearance during infection. He is actively working with the important bacterial species, Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii and Streptococcus pneumoniae. It is this work that is funded by an R01 grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. Parker established his laboratory in 2016 at Columbia University Medical Center and continues this work at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.

New Drug Therapy Could Lead to More Effective Treatment for Millions With Asthma

February 8th, 2018

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School discovers protein that opens airways. Rutgers New Jersey Medical School researchers identified a new treatment that could lead to more effective drug therapy for millions of individuals with asthma and other respiratory disorders such as chronic obstruction pulmonary disease (COPD).

In a study published on February 7 in Science Translational Medicine, Luis Ulloa, a lead author and immunologist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said he and collaborators from Shanghai University in China examined more than 6,000 compounds and identified a drug (TSG12) that relaxes the muscles and opens the airways in those with asthma. This drug treatment, which is not toxic in human cells, prevents pulmonary resistance in egg -and dust mite-induced asthma. The next step would be clinical trials, he said.

For more media coverage, please visit Center For Immunity And Inflammation (CII) and NJMS Department of Surgery

Worms May Hold Answers to Curbing Disease in Developing World

August 7th, 2017

Dr. George Yap and Dr. William Gause received a $3 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health this spring to study how worms prevent vaccinations from bolstering the immune system. They also received a $511,711 R56 NIH grant titled "Genesis of Defective Effector Lymphocytes in the Helminth Coinfected Host.”

Over treating populations for worm infections may lead to the development of drug-resistant strains, said Gause, who has been researching helminths and their impact on the human immune system since 1985 and is conducting a tandem study on the parasite with another NJMS peer, George Hasko. This second five-year, $3.2 million study, also awarded by the NIH, will examine how the immune system actually detects the worm infection, and then becomes activated to protect against the parasite while weakening the very immune components that protect us against microbes, like tuberculosis.

Read more in Rutgers Today

Two NIH grants totaling over $2.5 million towards discovery of novel drugs against malaria

July 28th, 2017

Dr. Purnima Bhanot, Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics was awarded two NIH grants totaling over $2.5 million towards discovery of novel drugs against malaria. Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium, kills roughly 2000 people a day. Dr. Bhanot with colleagues at Rutgers School of Pharmacy and Montclair State University, will synthesize potent and selective inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum’s cGMP-dependent protein kinase and test their efficacy in blocking infection of the host liver by the parasite.

Nature Immunology

July 19th, 2017

CRα-TCRβ pairing controls recognition of CD1d and directs the development of adipose NKT cells - senior authored by Dr. Derek Sant’Angelo. Read More at Nature Immunology

Dr. Sylvia Christakos received an RO1 grant ($582,981/yr - 4 years) to study Nutrigenomics of Intestinal Vitamin D Action

July 5th, 2017

Dr. Sylvia Christakos received an RO1 grant ($582,981/yr - 4 years) to study Nutrigenomics of Intestinal Vitamin D Action. The proposed research employs a genomic approach coupled to physiology studies in novel mouse models to test the ypothesis that the proximal and distal segments of the intestine have unique regulatory pathways controlling vitamin D receptor (Vdr) expression and vitamin D action. This project combines expertise in vitamin D biology as well as expertise in genomics (in collaboration with Dr. Mike Verzi, Rutgers New Brunswick) to determine how the molecular actions of vitamin D can be utilized to improve calcium status in groups at risk for accelerated bone loss and osteoporosis.

Helminth infection promotes colonization resistance via type 2 immunity

April 29th, 2017

Helminth infection promotes colonization resistance via type 2 immunity – authored by Dr. William Gause. Read More at Science

Journal of Experimental Medicine

August 22nd, 2016

Carbonic anhydrase enzymes regulate mast cell-mediated inflammation – senior authored by Dr. Mark Siracusa. Read More at Journal of Experimental Medicine

$1 million grant from the MCJ Amelior Foundation

February 11th, 2016

The i3D and CII received a $1 million grant from the MCJ Amelior Foundation that will support a comprehensive research program in the field of acne and rosacea, including the recruitment of an up-and-coming researcher, read more in Rutgers to Launch Skin Research Laboratory