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Invasive fungal infections are a leading cause of death among immunocompromised patients. It is therefore essential to define the cellular and molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions in order to improve outcomes for patients with invasive fungal infections. At the Vyas Laboratory in the Infectious Diseases Division of Massachusetts General Hospital, our research interests lie at the intersection between pathogenic fungal organisms and the immune system.
The first line of defense against these pathogens is phagocytic cells including neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells. Once phagocytes recognize and engulf fungal pathogens, they are placed into membrane-delimited compartments termed phagosomes. In a process known as phagosome maturation, ingested materials are trafficked through a series of increasingly acidified structures, ultimately leading to the degradation of the pathogen. The Vyas Lab uses fungal pathogens of clinical importance including Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans as the model pathogens to study phagosome formation and maturation. Using live cell imaging and fluorescently-tagged proteins, we visualize primary macrophages and their responses to fungi. We examine the role of pattern-recognition receptors such as Dectin-1 and Toll-like receptors in fungal immunity. We are also interested in the role of LC-3 (member of the autophagy family of proteins) and members of the tetraspanin family and their effects on phagosomal maturation. Knowledge gained understanding these molecular events will hopefully tailor the immune response to these clinically-relevant fungal pathogens in immunocompromised patients.
Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhDAssociate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolInternal Medicine Residency Program Director, Massachusetts General HospitalView Dr. Vyas's Harvard Catalyst profile
Jenny M. Tam, PhDInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical SchoolAssistant in Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Jennifer L. Reedy, MD, PhDInstructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Allison Timmons, PhDMedical Writer
Nida S. KhanGraduate Student
Marianela FeliuResearch Technician II
Paige NegoroResearch Technician
Daniel LukasonResearch Technician
Tammy VyasLab Manager
View a full list of the Vyas Lab publications on PubMed.
Vyas LaboratoryMassachusetts General Hospital 55 Fruit Street Jackson Building Rooms 1315 and 1326 Boston, MA 02114
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