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Erik Wendlandt

Mentor: Mary Wilson, M.D.
Lab Room: 400 EMRB
Lab Phone: 319-335-6807

Investigating the involvement of microRNAs during Leishmania infantum chagasi infection

The Leishmania spp. are pathogenic protozoan parasites that are obligate intracellular parasites in mammalian hosts, primarily residing in macrophages. Macrophages can be activated by classical activation markers leading to killing and clearance of the Leishmania parasites. Emerging data suggests microRNAs can play an important role in entry, detection and survival of Leishmania spp. Within host macrophages. Data performed in the Wilson lab suggests microRNAs 200b and 200c are capable of suppressing TLR signaling through repression of the TLR adaptor molecule MyD88. This block in TLR4 signaling leads to a decrease in classical macrophage activator markers CXCL9 and IL-6.


Marquez RT, Bandyopadhyay S, Wendlandt EB, Keck K, Hoffer BA, Icardi MS, Christensen RN, Schmidt WN, McCaffrey AP. Correlation between microRNA expression levels and clinical parameters associated with chronic hepatitis C viral infection in humans. Lab Invest. 2010 Dec;90(12):1727-36. Epub 2010 Jul 12. PubMed PMID: 20625373.

Marquez RT, Wendlandt E, Galle CS, Keck K, McCaffrey AP. MicroRNA-21 is upregulated during the proliferative phase of liver regeneration, targets Pellino-1, and inhibits NF-kappaB signaling. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2010 Apr;298(4):G535-41. Epub 2010 Feb 18. PubMed PMID: 20167875; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2853303.

Wendlandt EB, Graff JW, Gioannini TL, McCaffrey AP, Wilson ME. The Role of microRNAs 200b and 200c in TLR4 Signaling, NF-κB Activation and Macrophage Polarization. In preparation, 2011.

Honors and Awards

  • Supported by the T32 Mechanisms of Parasitology training grant
  • Travel award from the Society for Leukocyte Biology - 2012