Judy M. Teale, Ph.D.
Phone: (210) 458-7024
Areas of Specialization
Ph.D. in Immunology; University of Virginia
B.S. in Microbiology; Pennsylvania State University
Dr. Teale's research focus is Neurocysticercosis (NCC), a parasitic disease of the central nervous system caused by the helminth Taenia solium. The long term goal of this project has been to characterize the host immune response and the pathology associated with NCC. Apart from analyses of brain specimens from NCC patients, the lab has developed a mouse model of NCC by intra-cranial infection with the related cestode, Mesocestoides corti. Our studies have shown that the parasite releases glycans with distinct sugar specificities that are taken up by host cells in the CNS environment in both human and murine NCC. Immunological events following recognition of these glycan antigens likely play a critical role in the immunopathogenesis of NCC. Parasite glycan induced regulatory responses involving myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are thought to be key in host protection; however, the receptors involved in this process are largely uncharacterized. C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) recognize glycan antigens of both pathogen and host origins and function in a wide variety of inflammatory and regulatory immune responses. Little is known regarding the expression of CLRs and their role in CNS infections which is the objective of this project. The lab hypothesizes that parasite released glycans induce differential expression of CLRs which modulate the expression of effector molecules as well as activation and trafficking of leukocytes. They further hypothesize that CLRs differentially modulate functions of MDSCs that likely influence the immunopathology in murine NCC.