Infectious Diseases
Our Faculty and research trainees are investigating how the immune system fight a range of infectious diseases including human viral infections such as HIV and Sars-Cov2, parasitic diseases, bacterial infections or a number of animal diseases of economic importance. Research goals include development of diagnostics, immunotherapeutic strategies or vaccines to improve disease management.
  Cell fate decisions – the choice to live or die, to become different cell types with unique functions — are essential to our understanding of health and disease. Different types of T cells are critical for the body’s defense machinery against infection and play a role in immune dysregulation which can lead to chronic inflammatory conditions. My lab studies CD8 T cell fate diversity during immunity at the single-cell level. We are interested in how T cells become different functional regulators of the immune response to viral infections, as well as in chronic inflammation (e.g. autoimmunity, cancer), and vaccination.
ARSENIO, Janilyn (PhD)
Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Systems Biology of Chronic Inflammation
Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine; cross-appointed in Immunology
Vice-Chair, Women in Science: Development, Outreach, and Mentoring (WISDOM) in Manitoba

Office Phone:  (204) 789-3609
Email: Janilyn.Arsenio@umanitoba.ca     
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  Foreign animal diseases affect a wide variety of production animals which are not present in Canada. They include both zoonotic diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza and Rift Valley fever and non-zoonotic diseases such as sheep and goat pox, lumpy skin disease, peste des petits ruminants and African swine fever. The goal of my research is to develop improved molecular and serological diagnostics as well as vaccines for foreign animal diseases and emerging viral infections.

BABIUK, Shawn (PhD)
Adjunct Professor - Cross appointee

Office Phone: (204) 784-5956
Email: shawn.babiuk@canada.ca 
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MacDONALD, Kelly (M.D. FRCPC)
H.E. Sellers Research Chair
Head, Section of Infectious Diseases
Professor, Departments of Medicine, Microbiology & Immunology
Adjunct Scientist, JC Wilt Infectious Diseases Research Centre
Public Health Agency of Canada

Office Phone:  (204) 977-5680
Email: Kelly.MacDonald@umanitoba.ca 
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MUROOKA, Thomas (PhD)
Assistant Professor
Department of Immunology
Medical Microbiology

Office Phone: (204) 789-3941
Email: Thomas.Murooka@umanitoba.ca Web Page
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 and stromal cells that continuously survey the body in order to rapidly respond to pathogenic insults.  My lab uses a microscopy-based approach to better understand how cell-to-cell communicative behavior between immune cells is regulated within healthy tissues, and how these behaviors are altered in response to infections in vivo.
We use multiphoton intravital microscopy (MP-IVM) to visualize the migration, dynamic behavior and localization of immune cells within their physiological tissue in live, anaesthetized mice.  Our MP-IVM suite is contained within a dedicated BSL2+ facility, allowing investigations into immune responses in animals infected with various pathogens, such as HIV-1. My overall goal is to visually describe the spatiotemporal dynamics of the immune response against microbes, and to use this information to inform new strategies to prevent or better eliminate infectious diseases.

SANTER, Deanna (PhD)
Assistant Professor
GSK Endowed Research Chair in Immunology of Infectious Diseases
Department of Immunology

Office Phone: (204) 789-3583 
Email: Deanna.santer@umanitoba.ca  
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Interferons (IFNs) serve as the backbone of the innate antiviral immune response. All types of IFNs induce a host of genes collectively called IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), with antiviral, anti-proliferative, and immunomodulatory properties.Type I IFNs were discovered in 1957 with thousands of articles describing their role in immunity. In contrast, type III IFNs and their unique heterodimeric receptor (IFN-LR1/IL-10RB) were discovered in 2003, meaning there is much to discover about their biology and mechanisms of immunoregulation with multiple differences already noted between mice and humans. My research program will focus on IFN biology and how type I versus type III IFNs regulate human immune cell responses against viruses or after vaccination. Most recently, we are testing the effectiveness of type III IFN therapy in COVID-19 patients through a CIHR funded grant with the University of Alberta and University Health Network.


Dr. Uzonna’s primary research program focuses on understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate the induction, maintenance and loss of protective immunity against parasitic infections, particularly those caused by protozoa, with a view to exploiting the information gained from these studies for the development of effective vaccines and vaccination strategies against these infections. In addition, he is also interested in understanding the immunomodulatory mechanisms that regulate the pathophysiology of systemic inflammatory response syndromes, particularly those associated with sepsis and septic shock.

UZONNA, Jude (DVM, PhD)
Professor
Department of Immunology & Medical Microbiology
Associate Dean (Research)

Office Phone: (204) 977-5659
Email: Jude.Uzonna@umanitoba.ca
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YANG, Xi (PhD)
Professor 
Department of Immunology

Office Phone: (204) 789-3304
Email: x.yang@umanitoba.ca 
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The current research program in my laboratory focuses on the cellular and molecular basis of immune responses in  allergy, chlamydial infection and cancer.

Focus one: Study on hygiene hypothesis related to allergy/asthma. It focuses on the mechanism underlying the long-term documented but unexplained mystery that as many countries reduce the burden of infectious diseases, a remarkable increase in the incidence of atopic allergies has occurred.

Focus two: Study of the protective immunity and immunopathology to chlamydial infection. The objective of the study is to dissect the cellular and molecular basis for chlamydial protective immunity and pathology. Specifically, this project will analyze: (I) the role of dendritic cells, NK/NKT cells, cytokines (chemokines) and adhesion molecules in the development or prevention of immunopathological responses; (ii) interaction of DC/NKT and DC/NK in chlamydial infections with a recent focus on the modulating effect of NKT/NK on the function of dendritic cells.

Focus three: Study of the role of SND1 in oncogenicity and tumor development, particularly its role involving antigen presentation and CD8 T cell activation.