Somashekarappa Gowda Nanjappa, Ph.D., D.V.M.

Somashekarappa Gowda Nanjappa, Ph.D., D.V.M.

Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Project: Immunity against pulmonary fungal infections

Grant(s): Innovation Award

Over a million people die every year from fungal diseases, mostly due to lung infections. There is no licensed vaccine available against any disease-causing fungi. Hence, it is crucial to identify potential preventive/therapeutic immune targets and understand the mechanisms that aid in the control of fungal pneumonia and restore lung health. We have identified a cell surface protein, Sialophorin, which orchestrates the lung’s first line of defense, called innate immunity, against fungal pathogens. Our research will unravel the target cells and mechanisms by which Sialophorin bolsters innate immunity against pneumonia-causing pathogenic fungi. Our work will help find novel preventive and therapeutic measures, and reveal Siaolophorin as a marker for assessing the clinical outcome of fungal pneumonia.

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