Pavillon de Sciences
1200 rue St. Alexandre
Montreal, Quebec H3B 3H5
Tel.: 514-9873000, extension 1918.
scorza [dot] tatiana [at] uqam [dot] ca (Email)
Two research projects are being developed in my laboratory:
- A first project concerns the study of immunosuppressive mechanisms induced by Plasmodium spp., affecting the function of antigen presenting cells (APCs) and the activation of T cells. Parasites (P. falciparum, P. chabaudi adami) are isolated from infected red blood cells using standards methods. Plasmodium proteins are extracted and assessed for their immunosuppressive activity on T cell hybridomas and T cells. In addition we are interested in evaluating the effect of these suppressive metabolites on the priming of CD8+T cell responses (cytotoxicity and IFN-alpha secretion) by DNA vaccines in vivo and in vitro. We also focus on the identification of immunomodulatory factors secreted by APCs that contribute to the downregulation of T cell responses. In this context, conditioned media from the culture of APCs with Plasmodium-derived suppressive proteins and /or metabolites are analyzed by mass spectrometry. Special attention is given to the malaria pigment (hemozoin), which has been shown to increase the peroxydation of lipids in human and murine macrophages, and which can affect the activation of T cells.
- A second research project concerns the development of new therapeutic strategies to treat cutaneous and visceral forms of Leishmaniasis using murine laboratory models. This project involves the collaboration with McGill University and with the Centre for Parasitological Research José W. Torrealba, Trujillo-Venezuela.