|Date:||November 13, 2014 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
November 14, 2014 | 9:00 am – 2:00 pm
|Location:||University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
7703 Floyd Curl Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
Dr. Casadevall’s laboratory studies two fundamental questions: 1) How do microbes cause disease? and 2) How do hosts, such as humans, protect themselves against microbes? To address these large questions, the laboratory has a multidisciplinary research program spanning several areas of basic immunology and microbiology. A major focus of the laboratory is the fungus Cryptococcus neoformans, a ubiquitous environmental microbe that is a frequent cause of disease in individuals with impaired immunity. Many of the laboratory’s projects seek to understand how hosts defend against C. neoformans and how the organism’s virulence contributes to disease. An antibody to fungal melanin made in the Casadevall laboratory is currently in evaluation for the treatment of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. In recent years, the laboratory has also worked with other microorganisms, including Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that causes anthrax and is a major agent of biological warfare. The laboratory is interested in devising antibody-based countermeasures to protect against anthrax.
Dr. Casadevall received both his M.D. and Ph.D. (biochemistry) degrees from New York University. He completed internship and residency in internal medicine at Bellevue Hospital in New York and later completed training in Infectious Diseases at the Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Over the years, Dr. Germain and his colleagues have made key contributions to our understanding of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class II molecule structure–function relationships, the cell biology of antigen processing, and the molecular basis of T cell recognition, especially the role of self-recognition and the organization of signaling networks involved in ligand discrimination. More recently, his laboratory has been focused on the details of T cell-antigen presenting cell interactions and the relationship between immune tissue organization and control of adaptive immunity at both the initiation and effector stages. Experiments at the whole cell, tissue, and organism level are being used to build a more complete picture of the operation of the adaptive immune system, including those utilizing novel dynamic in situ microscopic live animal imaging methods that his laboratory helped pioneer. Efforts are also underway to create computer models of T cell signaling and activation based on these studies.
Dr. Germain received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. Since that time, he has investigated basic T-cell immunobiology, first on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and then as the Chief, Lymphocyte Biology Section in the Laboratory of Immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Miller’s laboratory studies molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenesis and the evolution of functional diversity in bacteria and bacteriophage. Multidisciplinary approaches are applied to a variety of interests including: 1) biochemical and genetic studies of signal transduction networks that regulate the infectious cycles of Bordetella pertussis (which causes whooping cough) and Burkholderia pseudomallei (which causes life threatening systemic diseases), 2) alterations in host cell signaling pathways by B. pertussis and B. pseudomallei, 3) biofilm formation and the hyper-colonization phenotype of Staphylococcus epidermiditis, and 4) microevolutionary adaptation by diversity-generating retroelements, which function to introduce vast amounts of diversity in bacterial target proteins.
Dr. Miller received his Ph.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University School of Medicine before joining the faculty at UCLA, where he is also a member of the California Nanosystems Institute.
Dr. Schatz is best known for the discovery of RAG1 and RAG2, subsequent biochemical insights into RAG function and evolutionary origins, and the discovery of two distinct levels of regulation of somatic hypermutation. The Schatz laboratory studies V(D)J recombination and somatic hypermutation, reactions that create and optimize antibody genes. The laboratory studies these reactions using a wide variety of molecular, genetic, cellular, and biochemical approaches. The research focus is understanding the underlying mechanisms of these reactions and how they are targeted specifically to antibody genes. The Schatz laboratory is also very interested in understanding why V(D)J recombination and somatic hypermutation sometimes affect the wrong genes, and how such mistakes contribute to the development of B cell cancers known as lymphomas and leukemias.
Dr. Schatz received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and a M.A. degree in Philosophy and Politics from Oxford University. His Ph.D. degree and postdoctoral training were done with Dr. David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.