Jennifer A. Philips, MD, PhD
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Washington University in St. Louis (WU)
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) causes tuberculosis (TB), one of the world’s most deadly infections. Mtb disrupts anti-microbial pathways of macrophages, cells that normally kill bacteria. Mtb establishes persistent infection despite inducing robust antigen specific T cell responses. How Mtb undermines these host immune functions is the focus of our work. We are identifying and characterizing host-pathogen interactions that provide mechanistic insight into how Mtb alters cellular trafficking, antigen presentation, and cytokine responses of macrophages and dendritic cells. In studying the molecular mechanisms by which Mtb sabotages cellular functions, we hope to better understand host immunity and bacterial pathogenesis.