Long COVID linked to persistently high levels of inflammatory protein: a potential biomarker and target for treatments

SARS-CoV-2 triggers the production of the antiviral protein IFN-γ, which is associated with fatigue, muscle ache and depression. New research shows that in Long COVID patients, IFN-y production persists until symptoms improve, highlighting a potential biomarker and a target for therapies.

In Memoriam: Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D., renowned immunologist and longtime Chair of Microbiology

Jonathan W. Uhr, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Immunology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who discovered how antibodies are made and developed a technique that led to the early detection of cancer cells, died Feb. 15. He was 96. Dr. Uhr was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

New Trial Highlights Incremental Progress Towards a Cure for HIV-1

A new clinical trial, led by clinicians and researchers at the UNC School of Medicine, show that the combination of the drug vorinostat and immunotherapy may modestly shrink the latent HIV reservoir, but more work needs to be done in the field to create a cure.

Renowned Immunologist Dr. Gary Koretzky to Receive AAI Lifetime Achievement Award Honoring Exceptional Contributions to Immunology

Recognizing the impact of his research and outstanding leadership in the field of immunology, Gary Koretzky, M.D., Ph.D., DFAAI (AAI ’92), will receive the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Lifetime Achievement Award, the association’s highest honor, at the AAI annual conference IMMUNOLOGY2024TM, May 3-7 in Chicago.

Jean-Laurent Casanova is Recipient of 2023 Maria I. New International Prize for Biomedical Research

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai will award its 2023 Maria I. New International Prize for Biomedical Research to Jean-Laurent Casanova, MD, PhD, for revolutionizing our understanding of human infectious diseases through the discovery of genetic and immunological determinants that underpin both rare and common infectious illnesses. The prize honors medical pioneers in the tradition of Maria I. New, MD, a world-renowned researcher in pediatric genetic disorders with a special focus on endocrinology over her six-decade career. Dr. Casanova will receive a prize of $20,000 and will present the Maria I. New Distinguished Lecture during a ceremony to be held in at Icahn Mount Sinai in New York City on November 21, 2023.

Army of specialized T cells may trigger asthma attacks in older men

LA JOLLA, CA—Scientists from La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) and The University of Southampton, UK, have uncovered a group of immune cells that may drive severe asthma. These cells, called cytotoxic CD4+ tissue-resident memory T cells, gather in the lungs and appear to possess the molecular weaponry to cause the most harm in men who developed asthma later in life.

UTSW researchers identify driver of inflammatory bowel disease

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered an intracellular mechanism that converts protective intestinal cells into disease-driving pathogenic cells, a finding that could lead to improved treatments for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Intestinal bacteria release molecular ‘brake’ on weight gain

Bacteria that live in the intestines inhibit a molecule that limits the amount of fat absorbed, increasing weight gain in mice fed a high-sugar, high-fat diet, researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center report. The findings, published in Science, could eventually lead to new ways to combat obesity, diabetes, and malnutrition – health problems that plague hundreds of millions worldwide.

Rather than providing protection, an Omicron infection may leave patients more susceptible to future COVID infections, researchers find after studying seniors in care

Researchers at McMaster University have found that rather than conferring immunity against future infections, infection during the first Omicron wave of COVID left the seniors they studied much more vulnerable to reinfection during the second Omicron wave.

Expert Available to Discuss Rise in Rare and Obscure Diseases

There’s been an uptick in the U.S. recently in relatively obscure and rare diseases — malaria, leprosy, measles –– making a comeback, with many in the health community sounding the alarm bells. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Brian DeHaven, PhD, an expert in virology and immunology,…

Cancer Research Institute Awards Over $28 Million in Grants to Fuel Immunotherapy Innovations

The Cancer Research Institute awarded $28.7 million in research grants and fellowships in the 2023 fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. In total, CRI distributed 73 awards that will advance cancer immunology research at 41 institutions in 10 countries. CRI grants were awarded to support projects involving a variety of immune-based approaches as well as the development of novel technologies that may help pave the way for the next generation of immunotherapies.

Gene that regulates immune activity in the retina identified

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a gene called Lipe that appears to be pivotal to retinal health, with mutations spurring immune activation and retinal degeneration. This is important because the retina is responsible for detecting the light that is transformed into vision. The findings, published in Communications Biology, provide clues about the mechanisms behind a variety of disorders affecting the retina, including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

CHOP Researchers Show that IgA Fine Tunes the Body’s Interactions with Microbes

A new study by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has demonstrated that IgA acts as a “tuner” that regulates the number of microbes the body sees every day, restraining the systemic immune response to these commensal microbes and limiting the development of systemic immune dysregulation.

Simmons Cancer Center investigators receive nearly $15 million in CPRIT funding

Ten scientists in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been awarded nearly $15 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) to advance research on a wide range of cancer issues.

Healthy gut bacteria can help fight cancer in other parts of the body, UTSW researchers find

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered how healthy bacteria can escape the intestine, travel to lymph nodes and cancerous tumors elsewhere in the body, and boost the effectiveness of certain immunotherapy drugs. The findings, published in Science Immunology, shed light on why antibiotics can weaken the effect of immunotherapies and could lead to new cancer treatments.

New $17 million grant establishes LJI as global hub for immunology data curation and analysis

A new grant of over $17 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has established La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) as the leading institute for human immunology data curation, analysis, and dissemination. With this funding, LJI has taken the helm of the Human Immunology Project Consortium Data Coordinating Center, a critical tool in the effort to fuel scientific collaboration in immunoprofiling and highlight findings from the overall Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC).

LJI Instructor Annie Elong Ngono, Ph.D., wins GVN support to advance infectious disease research

LJI Instructor Annie Elong Ngono, Ph.D., has spearheaded important studies into the immune response to deadly pathogens such as dengue virus. Now, this dedication to global health and virology has earned her acceptance to the Global Virus Network’s (GVN) highly selective Rising Star Mentorship Program.