The Nutritional Immunology Laboratory investigates the role of dietary components and their interactions with other environmental factors and genes in age-associated changes of both the immune and inflammatory responses. Our research looks to reverse and/or delay the onset of these immunologic and age-related changes by appropriate dietary modifications and to determine the molecular mechanisms by which nutrients modulate immune cell functions. Methods are being developed to use the immune response as a biologically meaningful index in determining specific dietary requirements. The laboratory uses a translational approach to: 1) Study cellular and molecular mechanisms of age and nutrition-induced changes in immune and inflammatory responses. 2) Determine the efficacy of food components including total calories, lipids, micronutrients such as vitamin E, and zinc, as well as flavonoids such as those in green tea and wolfberry, and pre- and pro-biotics on improving the immune function and/or dampening the inflammatory responses using cell culture, animal models and clinical trials. 3) Determine the efficacy of food components such as micronutrients in the prevention of infectious diseases in animal models, clinical trials and observational studies in US and less developed countries. 4) Determine the impact of reducing caloric intake on immune response of humans.
1. Investigate the molecular and cellular basis of age-related decline in T cell function and its reversal by vitamin E.
2. Determine the effect of reducing caloric intake on the immune response of humans.
3. Determine the effect and mechanisms of food components and their interaction with age on immune function and infectious diseases.
Simin Nikbin Meydani, D.V.M., Ph.D., Laboratory Director
Dayong Wu, M.D., Ph.D. Scientist I and Associate Professor, Nutrition
Angelo Azzi, M.D., Ph.D.
Junaidah Bajrai Barnett, Ph.D.
David Hamer, M.D.
Basil Fine, M.D.
Sarbattama Sen, M.D.
Zhihong Ren, Ph.D.
Junpeng Wang, Ph.D.
Lixin Na, M.S.,Visiting Scholar
Yanmei Xu, M.S.,Visiting Scholar
Lijun Li, B.S.,Research Assistant
Naglaa El-Abbadi, B.S., Research Assistant
Maria Carlota Dao-Saldivia, B.S., M.S., Graduate Research Assistant
Mitra Rozati, M.S., Graduate Student, University of Mass, Lowell, Ph.D. candidate
Stephanie Marco, M.A., N.H. Cert., Administrative Coordinator
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