Research in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology revolves around two major fields of scientific endeavor, these fields involve studies on bacteria, virus, parasites, cancer and immune cells with an emphasis on molecular biology, biochemistry, and pathogenesis. Within these fields three overlapping research groups collaborate on a variety of projects.
Western HIV Investigators Group
Western HIV Investigators Group (WHIG) is a research group at Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry that is working together to help fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through a collaborative approach, we are trying to provide valuable insight on how this pathogen has become so widespread and deadly and what we can do to prevent further transmission of HIV.
The diverse interests of members of the WHIG provide a wide range of scientific expertise to better understand all aspects of HIV-1. Research interests include the molecular biology of HIV, how viral diversity impacts HIV pathogenesis, the ability of host cells to combat HIV and the development of novel vaccine approaches to prevent HIV infection.
Bacterial Pathogenesis Group
Superantigens (SAgs) are a group of virulent toxins that indiscriminately activate T-cells of the immune system causing system-wide inflammation and other serious, potentially fatal symptoms . They are not quite the same as antigens - though they almost all have antigenic properties- but rather receive their name from their powers to stimulate a massive antigen-nonspecific immune response.
Probiotics are "live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host."
Biotherapeutics, are materials produced using biological means, including recombinant DNA technology that are used to treat a variety of medical conditions. Some of our research interests include vaccines against the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and the development of novel targeted gene therapy and anti-inflammatory treatments for spinal cord injury.