Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism involved in the regulation of the immune system through programmed cell death (PCD). Two major PCD pathways, apoptosis and necrosis are of particular interest because they play critical roles in immune cell development, responses to pathogens, inflammatory diseases, and cancer. Apoptosis is considered a benign form of PCD, occurs at various stages during lymphocyte development and responses, and is essential for eliminating non-functional, cancerous, or self-reactive lymphocytes. Dysregulation of lymphocyte apoptosis may cause autoimmune diseases, leukemia, and lymphoma. Necrosis has long been considered unregulated cell death which leads to cell rupture, resulting tissue damage. Recent evidence demonstrates that some forms of necrosis including necropotsis are tightly controlled cell death process. We are searching, by molecular cloning and by proteomic approaches, for proteins that are involved in cell death-signaling network. Physiological functions of each protein will be studied using various in vitro cell line systems, and using whole animals by transgenics and gene targeting (knockout) in mice. Our long-term goal is to identify key regulatory steps during cell death process, that are potential targets for therapeutic intervention of various diseases. Current projects in our group are as follows. FADD-mediated apoptosis/necrosis. A number of related receptors, designated “Death Receptors (DR)”, initiate a potent cell death signal upon engagement with cognate ligands. Fas is essential for apoptosis of self-reactive lymphocytes. Several years ago, we isolated a Fas-Associated Death Domain (FADD) protein, which is a mediator of apoptotic signal transduction in at least five death receptor pathways, Fas, Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor I (TNFR-I), DR3, 4, and 5. By FADD gene knockout studies in mice, we found that FADD not only is essential for apoptosis, but plays a role in cell proliferation as well. Future studies are aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms in signal switching by FADD, between two drastically distinct pathways: apoptosis and necrosis.
Ruihua Chen has worked in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry for 18 years in the capacities of discovery and translational research. From the diverse roles he has played various therapeutic areas he has worked on, he has come to a sense that drug targets can be shared in many diseases. He is currently working in the areas of immunology and oncology, and one of his passions is to maximize the values of compounds by finding uses outside these areas.
Microbiology and Immunology
Khadija Rafiq has completed her PhD from Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She is assistant professor of Thomas Jefferson University, USA.
Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in myocardial cell death
Dr. Khalid Wasim Kalim was working for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA he had completed his PhD at from University of Konstanz, Germany. He has completed M.Sc in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
James R. Hagman, PhD, is a researcher at National Jewish Health. Dr. Hagman is in the Department of Biomedical Research. 1989 University of Washington, Seattle, PhD, Microbiology.1986 University of Washington, Seattle, MS, Microbiology.1979 University of California, Berkeley, BA, Genetics. His research interests are Regulation of B cell transcription and development Lymphocyte differentiation proceeds through multiple stages characterized by the expression of distinct sets of genes. My laboratory’s goals include understanding how the nuclear proteins Early B cell Factor (EBF) and Pax5 (B cell-specific activator protein) regulate B lineage specification, commitment and the immune response to antigens. EBF has been identified as a crucial factor for lineage determination.
Antibodies, B Cells, Epigenetics, Gene Expression, Leukemia/Lymphoma and Immunology
Professor.Dr.Ahmed G.Hegazi currently working as a professor of Microbiology and Immunology in National Research Center, Dokki, Giza, Egypt with a work experience of more than forty years. He bagged many awards and the recent one was “Merit Aware of Medical Sciences, 2016” and he has four patents, 224 Articles. He was Secretary General at African Federation of Apiculture Associations (AFAA) and member of many scientific boards and Editorial Board of many journals. His contributions to the field of Microbiology and Immunology was incredible and we are privileged to have him as Organizing member.
Dr. Ondarza was born in Tampico, Tamaulipas and is a biologist at the Faculty of Sciences of the UNAM (1947-1951) where in the first year he received the chair of Biochemistry taught by Dr. Roberto Llamas Director of the Biology Institute of the UNAM , Casa del Lago in Chapultepec who invited him to join his research group with Dr. Juan Roca. By the end of his career in 1951 he had already published seven papers, six as co-author with Dr. Roca and another with Dr. Llamas. Two years later he received a grant from the British Council to move to the University of Glasgow in Scotland where he completed his postgraduate studies in Biochemistry under the direction of Prof. James Norman Davidson, renowned biochemist in the field of nucleic acids and with professors George T. Mills and Evelyn EB Smith, with whom he published his first international work in 1954 (Mills, GT, R. Ondarza and EEB Smith, 1954. The Uridyl transferase from liver, Biochim, Biophys, Acta. 14: 159-160). Upon his return to Mexico he collaborated with Dr. José Laguna, as a researcher at the Behring Institute and as Associate Professor of the Chair of Biochemistry at the Old School of Medicine, UNAM in the Plaza de Sto. Sunday, in 1955.
Biswadev Bishayi has completed his BSc in Physiology in 1990 from Midnapore College and MSc in Human Physiology from Vidyasagar University West Bengal, India in 1992. After qualifying NET-CSIR examination he joined Indian Institute of Chemical Biology as JRF and completed his PhD from Jadavpore University, West Bengal, India in 1999. He has joined as Lecturer in the Department of Physiology, University of Calcutta in 1997 and promoted to Professor in 2012. After being awarded the Biotechnology Overseas Associateship from the DBT he did his Postdoctoral research in Boston University Medical School, USA. The main focus of his research is host-pathogen interaction, role of cytokines in inflammatory diseases as well as neuro-endocrine immune interactions in relation to Staphylococcus aureus infection. He has regularly published papers in national and international reputed journals.