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Gwendolyn Clay

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

Investigating the role of NLR proteins in Leishmania Infections

Leishmania species are vector-borne protozoan parasites that cause a variety of diseases in humans. Several species cause cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), or local slowly healing skin ulcers. Other species cause visceralizing leishmaniasis (VL), a systemic and often fatal infection. Parasites modify and evade the host immune response throughout the course of infection. Nucleotide-binding domain leucine rich repeats, NLRs, are a family of proteins that function in innate immunity and inflammation in animals. Many respond to cytosolic perturbations and function as pattern recognition molecules that trigger innate immune activation. We hypothesize that NLR proteins might be important determinants of the outcome of leishmaniasis. We are investigating the role of NLR proteins in leishmaniasis, using NLR knockout mice to study infection in vivo.


Clay GM, Sutterwala FS, Wilson ME. NLR proteins and parasitic disease. Immunol Res. 2014 Aug;59(1-3):142-52. doi: 10.1007/s12026-014-8544-x. PubMed PMID:24989828.

Graff JW, Dickson AM, Clay G, McCaffrey AP, Wilson ME. Identifying functional microRNAs in macrophages with polarized phenotypes. J Biol Chem. 2012 Jun 22;287(26):21816-25. Epub 2012 May 1. PubMed PMID: 22549785; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3381144.


Graff JW, Clay GC, Petruccelli EK, Dickson AM, Wilson ME. Expression Profiles of microRNAs Regulated in Polarized Monocyte-Derived Macrophages. Presented at American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Annual Meeting, Washington DC, November, 2009.

Honors and Awards

  • CCOM Learning Community Leadership and Excellence Award, 2011