ORISE Fellowship to Study Neonatal Germinal Center Responses to Vaccines
Background: The inability of neonates and infants to elicit adult-like immune responses to pediatric vaccines renders this population vulnerable to infectious diseases until they receive the full 3 to 4 doses during the first 15 months of life. Our laboratory is investigating the immunobiological mechanisms responsible for the suboptimal vaccine responses in early age. The goal of these studies is to improve the efficacies of pediatric vaccines using adjuvants targeting the pathways responsible for the blunted immune responses.
Project description: We are using neonatal mice from immunocompetent as well as various transgenic mice to dissect the steps involved in the activation of innate cells as well as the generation of follicular helper T (Tfh) cells and germinal center B cells in response to vaccines. The candidate will participate in experimental design, immunization and analyzing cellular and molecular responses to vaccines in addition to writing manuscripts and presenting her/his work in national and international meeting.