Elham Karamooz, MD
Research Awards Nationwide Recipient (2014-2016)
Oregon Health & Science University
Learning How Immune System Recognizes TB Bacteria Could Lead to New Vaccine
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the second most common cause of infectious disease death worldwide and remains a significant global health threat. Unfortunately, the existing vaccine for TB, the BCG vaccine, does not confer enough protection in adults to curb the prevalence of Mtb. The difficulties in developing more effective vaccines stem from an incomplete understanding of how the immune system recognizes an Mtb-infected cell. We will focus on a type of immune cells called the Mucosal Associated Invariant T (MAIT) cells, which are capable of recognizing and killing Mtb infected cells. Our research will provide new information that could lead to new avenues for Mtb vaccine development.