Thomas Murooka, PhD
Studying how pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria and parasites, change the behavior of immune cell migration and alter their function.
Investigating mechanisms that allows persistence of Leishmania major in vivo.
Studying how cell-cell interactions help maintain HIV-1 latency in T cells.
To keep us healthy, the immune system must recognize and destroy a wide range of pathogens, while limiting damage to healthy tissues.
This is accomplished by a complex network of immune and stromal cells that continuously survey the body in order to rapidly respond to pathogenic insults.
My lab uses a microscopy-based approach to understand how cell-to-cell communicative behavior between immune cells is regulated within healthy tissues, and how these behaviors are altered during infections in vivo.
The goal is to describe the spatiotemporal dynamics of the immune system to inform new strategies to prevent or better eliminate infectious diseases.
Dr. Thomas Murooka is an assistant professor in immunology and medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba.
He obtained his PhD at the University of Toronto and did my postdoctoral fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, where he learned an emerging microscopy technique to image cellular behaviours directly in living tissues called two-photon microscopy. There, he discovered that the migratory capacity of HIV-infected cells played a dominant role in viral spread, which supported the “Trojan horse” theory of HIV dissemination.
These and other studies demonstrated that pathogens have evolved to evade the immune system to ensure their long term survival in the body.
In his lab, they are using new imaging techniques and new reporter systems to visualize the cellular behaviors of immune cells after infection with viruses, parasites and bacteria. This work is currently supported by CIHR, Research Manitoba, CanCURE Enterprise 2.0 and the University of Manitoba.
Max Rady College of Medicine
Room 471, 750 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T5 Canada