- GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Immunology and Infectious Disease Research
- Assistant Professor, Departments of Immunology and Medical Microbiology
T. Murooka Lab
- Postdoctoral research fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital (2009-2014)
- Ph.D. (Immunology), University of Toronto (2002-2008)
- B.Sc. (Microbiology & Immunology), University of British Columbia (1997-2002)
Department of Immunology
College of Medicine
Faculty of Health Sciences
433 Apotex Centre
750 McDermot Avenue
Office phone: (204) 789-3941
Fax: (204) 789-3921
I started my graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Eleanor Fish at the University of Toronto, where I was first exposed to the complex interplay between the immune system and viral pathogens. There, I characterized a new signaling pathway triggered by the chemokine ligand, CCL5, on T cells that regulated directional cellular migration. Our findings had broad implications on the optimization of T cell activation and recruitment to sites of infection during microbial insult. This peaked my interest in the dynamics of anti-viral immunity, and I decided to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Thorsten Mempel at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) to gain experience with the cutting-edge imaging methodology of intravital multiphoton microscopy (MP-IVM).
We addressed a long-standing question in the virology field of how Human Immunodeficiency Virus-1 (HIV-1) alters the behavior and motility of T cells and whether these changes contributed to viral pathogenesis in vivo. To accomplish this, we infected “humanized” mice with fluorescent HIV-1 reporter strains and visualized the dynamics of infected cells within the lymph node using MP-IVM. We characterized, for the first time, that HIV-1 significantly changes the behavior of infected cells and allows the virus to actively disseminate throughout the body by “hitching a ride” within migratory cells. The application of MP-IVM to characterize the dynamics of an evolving immune response to pathogens will continue to be my main focus as the GSK Research Chair in Immunology and Infectious Disease and Assistant Professor in the Departments of Immunology and Medical Microbiology at the University of Manitoba.
My research interests:
In order to keep us healthy, the immune system must recognize and destroy a wide range of invading pathogens, while limiting damage to healthy tissues. This is accomplished by a complex network of immune cells that continuously survey the body in order to rapidly respond to pathogenic insult. My interests are focused on understanding how cell-to-cell communicative behavior of immune cells is regulated within healthy tissue, and how these behaviors are altered in response to an infection in vivo.
To achieve this, we will use MP-IVM to visualize the migration, dynamic behavior and localization of immune cells within their physiological tissue in live, anaesthetized mice. Situated in a dedicated BSL2+ facility that features a surgical procedure room and an animal holding unit, this state-of-the-art imaging facility allows us to perform mechanistic, in vivo imaging-based studies in animals infected with various pathogens, such as HIV-1. Using a combination of fluorescent-reporter virus strains and a panel of genetic reporter mouse models, we will investigate the spatiotemporal dynamics of how immunity against microbes are generated, with the ultimate goal of providing valuable insights into the development of an effective vaccine strategy.