Guest:

Dr. Mark Shlomchik is UPMC Endowed Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of BlueSphere Bio, a company working to create individualized T cell therapies for the treatment of cancer. Dr. Shlomchik’s lab focuses on systemic autoimmune diseases, long-lived B cell immunity, and immunopathogenesis. He talks about the role of toll-like receptors in lupus, how his autoimmune disease research led to potential cancer therapies, and starting a biotech company with his brother.

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The Immunology Science Round Up

Antibody Escape in Omicron Subvariants – Researchers showed that the BA.4 and BA.5 SARS-CoV-2 sub-lineages contain mutations that reduce neutralization from vaccines and previous infection.

Long COVID in the Brain – After mild respiratory COVID, mice displayed elevated CSF cytokines, impaired hippocampal neurogenesis, decreased oligodendrocytes, and myelin loss.

Pregnancy and Intracellular Infection – Pregnancy-induced post-translational antibody modification enables protection against the prototypical intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

Sex-Specific Immune Responses to Tumors – Scientists demonstrated that sex-related differences in tumor burden depend on adaptive immunity.

Image courtesy of Dr. Mark Shlomchik