T cells play a critical role in protection from infectious disease as they recognize and respond to pathogen specific epitopes. After an infection antigen specific T cells dramatically expand, contract, and become short-lived effector cells or are maintained as long-lived memory cells that rapidly respond to a additional challenges. Helper T cells play a central role in the coordination of the adaptive and innate immune responses and deliver essential survival signals for the generation of cytotoxic memory T cells, antibody responses, and protective immunity. A better understanding of T cell activation and memory formation provides an opportunity to effectively improve vaccines and protection from infectious disease.
The main areas of research in the Weber lab are:
- Understanding T cell activation and improving the memory response to infectious disease
- Determining the involvement of the immune system in the development of Alzheimer's disease
- Engineering improved immunological proteins to combat cancerand
- Understanding how environmental exposure influences the development of asthma