Friday ID Conference: “Defining mechanisms of NK cell mediated control of chronic viral infections”

Galit Alter, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medicial School will speak

When May 18, 2012
from 08:30 AM to 09:30 AM
Where 1131 Bioinformatics
Contact Name
Contact Phone (919) 966-2536
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Galit Alter received her PhD in experimental medicine from McGill University, and is currently an Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Over the past 8 years her research has focused on understanding the role of the innate immune response to chronic viral infections, including HIV and HCV, with a focus on defining the role of Natural Killer (NK) cells in antiviral control. Recently, these studies have shifted gears to begin to define the mechanism by which these innate immune effector cells may be harnessed through vaccination to gain more effective control over viral replication. To do this, her current research interests lie in defining the role of innate immune recruiting antibodies in providing protection from infection. Specifically, she is working towards defining the pathways that result in the targeted production of “protective” antibody glycans to enhance the production of antibodies that can potently block infections.

Advancement in understanding how to manipulate the antibody glycan in a targeted manner through vaccination will also lead to the generation of vaccines with broader applications by extending to the improvement of therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of malignancies and autoimmune diseases as well. This knowledge will provide insights into natural antibody glycovariation, and lead to the development of novel approaches to strategically tailor vaccines to induce innate immune cell-recruiting antibodies, with the hope that these findings will ultimately revolutionize the application of vaccines to treat and prevent a remarkably larger range of diseases.

Dr. Alter’s visit is sponsored by the Pathogenesis Training Grant.

Refreshments will be served.

About Friday ID Conference

The Division of Infectious Diseases, Institute for Global Health & Infectious Diseases, and Center for AIDS Research at UNC co-sponsor a weekly conference series which features distinguished clinicians and scientists from UNC, local universities, and other national and international institutions. The topics are varied and appeal to not only infectious disease specialists, but also professionals in epidemiology, public health, microbiology, biostatistics and other global health-related disciplines. The conference takes place every Friday, September through June, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. in 1131 Bioinformatics (first floor auditorium) on the UNC campus. For more information, or to suggest a speaker, please contact the conference coordinator, Kathy James. To sign-up to receive weekly announcements of the conference, click here.

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