Our Science – Demberg Website
Thorsten Demberg, Ph.D.
Current vaccine strategies are focused on elicitation of strong mucosal and systemic immune responses. Although both innate and adaptive immune responses are believed necessary for a vaccine to be effective, current research is focused on adaptive immune responses by T- and B-cells. With the laboratory's strong background in functional non-neutralizing antibody activities, Dr. Demberg's research complements these investigations by defining B-cell phenotypes, identifying vaccine specific B-cell responses, and elucidating B-cell development in the non-human primate model. In particular, the role of memory B-cells in response to vaccination and their further maturation to long-lived antibody secreting cells (plasma cells) is under investigation.
Another research interest is the "cross-talk" between cells of the innate immune system and T-cells involving "danger signals" as well as co-stimulatory signals to B-cells. Although signals from cells of the innate immune system (e.g., dendritic cells) and T-cells towards B-cells have been well studied, feedback in the form of cytokines/chemokines produced by B-cells, and the up-regulation of regulatory receptors by B-cells have not. Dr. Demberg is investigating ex-vivo B-cell responses during vaccination and the skewing of signals during viral infection.
This page was last updated on 3/31/2014.