Pulmonary Immunology

The major focus of the Department of Pulmonary Immunology at UT Health Science Center is to study immune responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) and influenza virus infections. These studies are aimed at delineating the basic mechanisms by which these pathogens cause diseases, as well as applying scientific advances to improve patient diagnosis and treatment. The faculty publishes in scientific journals.

Research Activities

  • Role of natural killer (NK) cells and regulatory T-cells (Tregs) in the immune response to M. tuberculosis infection
  • Identify immunologic markers of persons at highest risk of progression of latent tuberculosis infection to tuberculosis 
  • Study protective immune responses to M. tuberculosis during HIV infection and diabetes
  • Understand the mechanisms of tuberculosis development by investigating the interaction between pathogen, M. tuberculosis, and host immune cells to discover novel drug targets and design effective tuberculosis vaccine
  • Novel mechanisms of innate immunity to protect host against influenza virus and secondary bacterial pneumonia
  • Effects of cigarette smoke exposure on lung immunity

Clinical Activities

A clinical responsibility of the senior staff of the Department of Pulmonary Immunology is to support a toll-free infectious disease consulting service provided, without cost, to all Texas physicians and healthcare agencies throughout the state.

Infectious Disease Hotline

Free infectious disease consultations are available statewide to all healthcare providers, both public and private, by calling 1 (800) 428-7432, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fax: (903) 877-7989 or (903) 877-5516

Local physicians should call (903) 877-7907 or (903) 877-5908.