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Drs. Nitin Karandikar and Sterling Ortega receive an NIH Junior Faculty Diversity Supplement Award

June 13, 2019

Drs. Nitin Karandikar and Sterling Ortega

Dr. Karandikar received a grant award from the NIH/NIAID under the "Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research Program.”  This grant will support the career development of Sterling Ortega, PhD, Associate of Pathology.

Dr. Ortega’s projects focus on the involvement of the immune system in neurologic diseases.  The pathophysiology of brain injury involves a significant immune component. Previous observations have shown that brain-targeting CD8 T-cells can reduce brain injury by modulating antigen presenting cells and targeting encephalitogenic CD4 T-cells. However, naïve and non-brain-targeting CD8 T-cells lack this immunoregulatory role in brain injury. Thus, the goal of this proposal is to determine the immune-regulatory kinetics of brain-targeting CD8 T-cells. Secondarily, it is unknown if encephalitogenic CD4 T-cells are always tolerant of CD8 T-cell immunoregulation, a phenomenon which could help explain the biphasic clinical presentation of brain injury, and the final aim in this proposal.