School of Medicine
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Taia T. Wang, MD, PhD, MSCI
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases) and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsLaboratory of Mechanisms in Human Immunity and Disease Pathogenesis
Antibodies are a critical component of host defense. While the importance of humoral immunity has been recognized for decades, substantial gaps in knowledge remain around how antibodies function, and how their function is regulated, in vivo. Our laboratory performs studies designed to fill in these gaps, with the goal of enabling new vaccine and therapeutic strategies to prevent human disease. My interest in this area culminated from training in medicine, RNA virus biology (PhD), and molecular antibody biology (postdoctoral training). The intersection of these topics, viral immunity and disease pathogenesis, is the focus of our work. The essential question driving our research is why a small subset of people develop severe or fatal disease during viral infection while most infections result in a subclinical or mild outcome, even in at-risk populations. Our hypothesis is that the antibody signaling pathways that are engaged during viral infection through Fc gamma receptors (FcγRs) are a key driver of these distinct outcomes. We are focused on several major unknowns to address this hypothesis: How are antibody effector functions regulated in vivo and does this change in disease? How do distinct signaling pathways engaged by IgG immune complex-FcγR interactions impact host cell genetic regulation and the ultimate inflammatory/immune response? What are the tissue-specific functions that antibodies engage? How does the heterogeneity in post-translational modifications (PTMs) of human antibodies contribute to heterogeneity in viral immunity?
Current clinical studies:
An Open Label Study of IgG Fc Glycan Composition in Human Immunity
Principal Investigator: Taia T. Wang, MD, PhD
Priscilla Li-ning Yang
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe apply chemical biology approaches to study fundamental virological processes and to develop antivirals with novel mechanisms of action.
Associate Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe chemistry and biology of the unusual plastid organelle, the apicoplast, in malaria parasites