Cho focuses on keeping influenza immune response safe

Josalyn Cho, MD, assistant professor in Pulmonary, Critical Care and Occupational Medicine, earned a five-year, $2.6 million R01 from the NIH to investigate an immune regulatory protein, T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 3 (Tim3), and its impact on influenza infection in the lungs.

“During influenza infection, the immune response must be tightly regulated to promote clearance of the virus and prevent injury of the lung,” Cho said. “Failure to control either viral replication or lung injury can lead to respiratory failure.”

Dendritic cells and CD8+ T cells, two types of immune cells, work together to regulate the immune response in influenza-infected lungs. Dendritic cells activate CD8+ T cells, and CD8+ T cells target and kill influenza virus-infected cells. Tim3 is expressed in both types of immune cells.

“This grant will allow us to determine whether Tim3 can promote viral clearance while preventing lung injury and identify the mechanisms by which it regulates these two cell types,” Cho said.

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