The Clinical-Translational Seminar Series -Dr. Padmini Salgame

(Above, from the left) November 30, 2012. Drs. Padmini Salgame. Patricia Champion, and Shahir Rizk enjoy a moment on the quad following Dr. Salgame's seminar at Geddes Hall.

On her recent visit to the University of Notre Dame's Center for Rare and Neglected Diseases, Professor Padmini Salgame addressed students and faculty on the topic of "Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Regulating Host Anti-tuberculosis Defense." Dr. Salgame's seminar focused on two central stories. The first part of her lecture disclosed her lab's examination of both innate and acquired immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and the role of T-regulatory cells. Salgame highlighted some of what is and is not known about the functioning of the tuberculosis granuloma, memory T-cells, and biosignatures associated with individual adaptive immune responses and the susceptibility to infection.

The second part of Salgame's talk looked at research on co-infections of MTB and helminthic parasites. Salgame described her investigation into the pathogenesis of both diseases in co-infection, particularly how the effects of the immune responses related to one infection effects the progression of infection in the other disease. For example, helminthic infection raises Th2 cell responses. and those in turn, have the effect of down regulating the Th1 responses that are so critical in resisting MTB infections. The timing of infections is crucial to determining the interplay between the body's immune responses to the two diseases. TB has a high prevalence in many regions where helminthic diseases are endemic, and it is critical to discover how these co-infections modulate the course and outcome of MTB infections. Salgame's current examinations of helminth infections and the actions of immune responses in impeding MTB progression, together with her work in innate and acquired immunity, are providing significant insights that will aid in the the development of vaccines and treatments for TB.

Following her seminar, the gracious Director of Graduate Medical Research for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey warmly welcomed graduate students in Drs. Champion and Lee's class for lunch and a relaxed discussion on a variety of topics (see photo below of the students with Dr. Salgame).

(Below, from the left) Graduate students from Drs. Champion and Lee's Topics in Pathobiology class - from the left, Rachel Schluttenhofer, Emily Williams, George Kennedy, Jennifer Zupkosky, Victoria Smith, Dr. Salgame, Jerome Fru Cho. (Photos: C Stackowicz, 2012)




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