Wang, Xisheng, D.V.M., Ph.D.

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D.V.M., China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, 1997

Ph.D., Immunology, Virginia Tech, Virginia, 2006

Research Interest:

Immunomodulation of dendritic cell functions by Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Current projects:

  • Evaluation of effects of ESAT-6 (early secreted antigenic target of 6 kD of M. tuberculosis) on dendritic cells

Understanding the mechanisms by which ESAT-6 modulates dendritic cell functions

Lay Summary:

Tuberculosis has caused disease in humans for thousands of years, and remains a major burden to human health, infecting more than one-third of the world’s population and causing almost two million deaths yearly worldwide. An effective vaccine is essential for global control of this disease. However its development is hampered by lack of information about the interactions between the bacterium that causes tuberculosis and human cells. ESAT-6 is a secreted M. tuberculosis protein that causes strong immune responses and is a candidate for inclusion in new antituberculosis vaccines. Dendritic cells are critical for presenting microbial antigens to lymphocytes and to generating effective immunity. We recently found that ESAT-6 modulates the function of human dendritic cells, making them more likely to stimulate pathologic inflammatory responses rather than protective immunity. We are working to understand the mechanisms through which ESAT-6 exerts these effects on dendritic cells. This information is critical to design more effective ESAT-6-based antituberculosis vaccines.

Selected papers and abstracts:

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