Non-Classical Immunity: Recognition and Restriction of Microbes by Cells of Non-Immune Origin

Dr. Ryan Gaudet
HHMI Fellow of the Helen Hay Whitney Foundation
Yale University
Monday, June 26, 2017 - 2:00pm
MSB 4171
Special Seminar
Dr. Ryan Gaudet is the 2017 winner of the Barbara Vivash Award in Molecular Genetics for his thesis, TIFA-Mediated Innate Immune Recognition of the Bacterial Metabolite HBP and its Role in Host Defense. This award acknowledges the most outstanding Ph.D. thesis defended during the 2015/2016 academic year. Nominees for this award must have produced a major work of scholarship that has led to significant advance in understanding the molecular genetics mechanisms underlying an important biological process. This is in addition to having written an outstanding thesis and conducted an excellent oral defence. Seminar Abstract: Much of our current preoccupation with vertebrate host defense lies with specialized immune cells in conferring protective immunity to infection. What this view largely ignores, however, is an increasing appreciation for the role played by non-immune cells in this process. Using genome-wide interrogative methods, we reveal the presence of novel defense networks operative in epithelial cells, the frontline sentinels for microbial infection. One pathway, mediated by the protein TIFA, enables innate immune sensing of intracellular bacterial growth. Other pathways, induced by local interferon, act in a cell-autonomous manner to restrict bacterial replication. Our work highlights the fundamental and often unappreciated role of non-immune cells in resisting microbial infection
Dr. Leah Cowen
Department of Molecular Genetics