|Date:||November 15, 2013 | 8:00 am – 5:00 pm|
|Location:||University of Texas at San Antonio
University Center (UC) Ballrooms
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249
As a basic immunologist, Emory Vaccine Center Director Dr. Rafi Ahmed studies immunological memory, the ability of the immune system to remember a particular antigen and respond accordingly. Dr. Ahmed and his colleagues have made significant discoveries about how immune memory cells are created and how long they survive; understanding these mechanisms is crucial to the development of vaccines for HIV and other infectious agents. In addition to contributing vitally to vaccine science, Dr. Ahmed’s findings are being applied to research into therapies for the treatment of cancer and the prevention of organ rejection.
Dr. Ahmed holds the title of Georgia Research Alliance Scholar in Vaccine Research. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology from Harvard University. Before coming to Emory in 1995, he was a Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine.
Dr. Hultgren’s laboratory is using a blend of disciplines to understand the molecular details of host pathogen interactions in urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by gram-negative Escherichia coli (UPEC) and gram-positive Enterococcus. Using genetics, biochemistry, and x-ray crystallography, they have discovered a novel mechanism of donor-strand complementation and exchange by which the chaperone usher pathways of gram-negative bacteria assemble adhesive pili. The laboratory is investigating the role of pili at the host-pathogen interface and the function of the Cpx two-component signal transduction system that monitors pilus biogenesis. In addition, diverse technologies are being used to study the export and assembly of an extracellular bacterial amyloid fiber called curli. The laboratory’s work is spawning new insights into infectious diseases, their relationship to cancer, and better strategies for treatment and prevention of UTIs.
Dr. Scott Hultgren also serves as the inaugural Director of the Center for Women’s Infectious Disease Research. He received his undergraduate education at Indiana University, his Ph.D. at Northwestern University in Chicago, and his postdoctoral training at Umeå University in Sweden under the tutelage of Staffan Normark.