My current research interests include identification and molecular characterization of protective immunodeterminants of Ehrlichia spp.,
investigation of pathogenic mechanisms and host-pathogen interactions
involving secreted effector proteins, understanding the molecular
mechanisms involved in the adaptation of Ehrlichia to
mammalian and arthropod hosts, and translational research directed at
the development of diagnostics and vaccines for the ehrlichioses.
Mechanisms of immunity and the molecular characteristics and location of
protective immunodeterminants has been an area of intensive
investigation. Efforts to molecularly define major B cell epitopes in a
group of acidic tandem repeat containing proteins, which elicit strong
humoral immune responses are being conducted. We are using molecular
approaches to investigate novel host-pathogen interactions including the
role of nuclear translocated ehrlichial proteins. In addition, we have
utilized protein interaction systems to define novel host-pathogen
interactions involving secreted tandem repeat proteins with host cell
signaling proteins and proteins involved in other molecular processes.
Translational research to develop vaccines and diagnostics and to
understand concepts that impact these areas including genetic and
antigenic diversity of ehrlichiae, are also areas of active
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