The PI of this grant is an M.D., Ph.D. who is committed to academic research and recently completed his clinical training in the Division of Infectious Disease at the University of Washington in Seattle. The proposal describes a 5 year training program designed to establish the PI as an independent researcher in the field of innate immunity in the host protection to respiratory pathogens. Specifically, the proposal is focused on the role of intracellular Nucleotide Oligermerization Domain (NOD)-like receptors, Nodi and Nod2, in the detection of and protection from Legionella pneumophila (Lp) pneumonia, an important cause of community acquired pneumonia. In our preliminary studies we have shown that Lp is able to detect Lp, and that mice deficient in Nodi and Nod2 have altered immune responses to Lp. In order to determine the relevance of Nodi and Nod2 in the innate host immune response to Lp, Aim 1 proposes to determine the mechanisms by which Nodi and Nod2 deficiency lead to impaired inmiune responses in the whole animal.
In Aim 2, we willdetermine the cellular mechanism of the Nodi and Nod2 response to Lp. Lastly, in Aim 3 we plan to define human significance by analyzing human genetic variability in Nodi and Nod2 and identify association to Lp pneumonia in a cohort of patients acquired Lp pneumonia following exposure to the pathogen. Completion of these aims will allow for better unstanding of the role of intracellular pathogen detection in pulmonary pneumonias possibly leading to development of immunotherapeutic interventions to individuals with known disease or improved vaccination strategies. The resources and expertise made available to the PI is uniquely suited for the project. Dr Thomas Hawn, the primary mentor, is an expert in the fields of innate immunity and human genetics. Dr. Shawn Skerrett has extensive experience with mouse knockout models of Lp pneumonia. The combination is uniquely suited to understanding innate immune responses to respiratory pathogens. This proposal seeks to improve public health by increasing our knowledge of the host immune response to pulmonary pathogens to one day help design beneficial interventions to improve outcome.
(See inslructionsV Legionella Pneumophila is an important lung pathogen, known to cause pneumonia in a significant proportion of the population. This proposal seeks to identify the mechanism of the host repsonse to this Legionella. Understanding the host immune resposne to Lp may lead to improved patient management of active Lp pneumonia, or to improved vaccination strategies in the future.
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