Kihong Lim, Ph.D.
University of Rochester
Funded by the American Lung Association of the Northeast
Defining the Role of Immune Cells in Fighting Influenza Virus
When a person is infected with influenza , various immune cells infiltrate into the infected airway to eliminate disease-causing germs. Understanding how the body responds during the infection is a key to improving control of influenza infection. We recently discovered a novel mechanism by which white blood cells called neutrophils guide the migration of immune cells called CD8 T cells to their destination. CD8 T cells destroy infected cells lining the airways to stop the production and spread of the influenza virus. Neutrophils also guide another type of white blood cell called monocytes. Because the roles of monocytes in influenza infection are not clearly understood, we aim to analyze the integrated functions of neutrophils and monocytes and how they work to defeat the influenza virus.