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Successful host-defense against viruses requires activation of both innate and adaptive immunity. Host receptors detect viral components such as proteins or nucleic acids and trigger anti-viral defense mechanisms. Over the last 15 years, these innate receptors have emerged as critical components of the anti-viral arsenal, alerting the immune system and inducing type I Interferons as well as other inflammatory cytokines. These factors curb virus replication and activate adaptive immunity, although the role of such innate mechanisms in the detection of HIV is underexplored. The CFAR and this EWG have exceptional strengths in innate immunity and HIV/AIDS and aims to make a significant impact in this important area.
Kate Fitzgerald, PhD has made major contributions to our understanding of how the innate immune response recognizes and responds to microbial challenge. She has published several high impact papers on the recognition of RNA viruses by innate sensors RIG-I and TLR7 and the role of the inflammasome in defense against fungal infections.
Ann Rothstein, PhD is a leader in the field of T and B lymphocyte activation and its regulation, function, longevity, and apoptosis, particularly in animal models of systemic autoimmune disease.