Somashekarappa Gowda Nanjappa, Ph.D., D.V.M.

Somashekarappa Gowda Nanjappa, Ph.D., D.V.M.

Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Project: Immunity against pulmonary fungal infections

Grant(s): Innovation Award

Over a million people die every year from fungal diseases, mostly due to lung infections. There is no licensed vaccine available against any disease-causing fungi. Hence, it is crucial to identify potential preventive/therapeutic immune targets and understand the mechanisms that aid in the control of fungal pneumonia and restore lung health. We have identified a cell surface protein, Sialophorin, which orchestrates the lung’s first line of defense, called innate immunity, against fungal pathogens. Our research will unravel the target cells and mechanisms by which Sialophorin bolsters innate immunity against pneumonia-causing pathogenic fungi. Our work will help find novel preventive and therapeutic measures and reveal Siaolophorin as a marker for assessing the clinical outcome of fungal pneumonia.

Update:

We found an essential role of Sialophorin for fungal immunity in the lung. Sialophorin starts to function as early as day three post-infection in a mouse model of pulmonary immunity. Sialophorin deficiency adversely affected the fungal clearance in the lung. Sialophorin enhanced the numbers of “first line of defense” lung immune cells called alveolar macrophages and augmented the numbers of innate immune cells and their ability to produce inflammatory substances called cytokines that help macrophages and neutrophils efficiently engulf and kill the fungal organisms in the lung.

Freedom From Smoking Clinic
, | May 02, 2022
Freedom From Smoking Clinic
Virginia Beach, VA | May 10, 2022