Innate and Innate-like Lymphocytes in Heath and Disease
Date and Location
When (Date/Time)February 8, 2017, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
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Dr. Van Kaer received BS and MS degrees from Ghent University in Belgium. He was trained in molecular bacteriology during his PhD studies with Dr. Marc Van Montagu (a foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences) at Ghent University. He subsequently performed postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate Dr. Susumu Tonegawa at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), where he investigated the immunological functions of gd T cells and the mechanisms of MHC class I-restricted antigen processing. He subsequently joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville (TN), where he continued his studies on MHC class I-restricted antigen presentation and expanded this work to include MHC class II-restricted antigen presentation and the immunological functions of non-classical MHC class I molecules such as CD1d, Qa-1 and the thymus leukemia (TL) antigen. His current research focus is to understand the immunological functions of innate and innate-like lymphocytes. His studies over the past several years have focused on three subsets of innate-type lymphocytes: (1) glycolipid-reactive, CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, (2) innate CD8aa-expressing lymphoid cells (iCD8a cells) from the intestinal epithelium, and (3) IL-10-producing B cells with innate-like functions. In these studies, his lab has employed a variety of experimental models of disease, including mouse models of autoimmune, inflammatory, vascular and metabolic disease.