Areas of Specialization
» Immune-modulation during neurocysticercosis
» Immunopathogenesis of neuronal damage in multiple sclerosis
» Neuroinflammation, chemokines and microglial function
Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology; University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
B.S. in Biology; University of Antioquia, Medellin
The overall goal of Dr. Cardona's research program is to understand the role of fractalkine and its receptor CX3CR1 in neuronal-microglia interactions and in the regulation of CNS pathology during Multiple Sclerosis (MS), neurocysticercosis, and diabetes. Dr. Cardona first delineated the role of CX3CR1 in vivo in 2006 and has continued providing evidence that CX3CR1 is an important for modulator of microglial mediated neurotoxicity. Notably, mice lacking CX3CR1 exhibited worse EAE, enhanced inflammation, and profound myelin loss. In MS, direct T cell and microglial interaction with oligodendrocytes supports the detrimental effects of inflammation to oligodendrocyte survival. However, the role of CX3CR1 in innate and adaptive immunity during MS is unknown. The lab's central goal is to determine the role of CX3CR1 in 1) microglia and DCs in the establishment of pathogenic T cells responses, and in neuronal pathology and demyelination CNS inflammation, and 2) in microglia and peripheral monocytes/macrophages in the establishment of inflammation, neuronal, and vascular pathology in the CNS.
Dr. Cardona's lab focuses on the functional interactions between immune cells, microglia, neurons, and blood vessels, utilizing experimental mouse models of disease, immunological assays, flow cytometry, fluorescent activated cell sorting, microscopy and molecular biology approaches.
Motivated trainees with a clear interest for a career in biomedical science have opportunities to participate in Dr. Cardon's research via independent study, thesis/dissertations, and work-study. Training is provided to acquire experience in how to choose, design, and expedite new experiments. An important goal is also to develop excellent communication skills, written and oral. This involves becoming an engaged lab member who can present his/her own work, and actively participate in the execution of research, lab meetings, seminars, journal clubs, scientific conferences, and in generation of written reports and scholarly products.
Click here for a list of publications.