The Immunology Graduate Program is based on a strong foundation of Molecular and Cellular Biology. The curriculum includes didactic courses in Biochemistry, Cell Biology, and Immunology. Advanced electives in immunology address key research topics, current research literature, and active discussion and debate of prevalent hypotheses and the data supporting those hypotheses. The faculty participating in the Immunology Program have active research projects in cell biology of the immune system, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, cancer, transplantation immunology, and host defense against infectious disease. The interdisciplinary nature of the Immunology Program is reflected by the diversity of participating faculty, who hold primary appointments in the School of Dentistry and the School of Medicine Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, Medicine, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pathology, Pediatrics and Surgery. Participating Centers and Institutes include the Center for Predictive Medicine, the James G. Brown Cancer Center, the Institute for Cellular Therapeutics, and the Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine. Many nationally recognized immunologists visit the University of Louisville and interact with the faculty and postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees in the Immunology Program as a result of active seminar programs supported by the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and the Centers listed above. In addition, members of the Immunology Program meet weekly to discuss research in progress or recent research publications that significantly impact ongoing research within the Program.
The following is a brief listing of general areas of ongoing research in immunology within the Immunology Program.
- Biology of the immune system: cell-cell interactions regulating immune responses
- Molecular cell biology of lymphoid and myeloid cells: signal cascades regulating immune function
- Role of cytokines and chemokines in cancer, autoimmune and infectious disease
- Biology and therapy of autoimmune disease: systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes
- Immunology of pregnancy
- Inflammatory diseases of the eye
- Bone marrow transplantation: enhancing bone marrow replacement and potential for treatment of autoimmune diseases
- Cancer immunology: how tumors regulate the immune system
- Cancer vaccines: prophylactic and therapeutic potential
- Interactions between bacterial pathogens and host macrophages
- Host defense and pathogenesis of viral infections
- Role of microbial flora in immuno-regulation and development of respiratory allergies
A listing of participating faculty and their research interests can be found at Graduate Faculty in Immunology.