Education

  • B.S. in Biology, Calvin College
  • M.S. in Public Health, Northwestern University
  • Ph.D. in Immunology, Northwestern University

Courses taught

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Academic Interests

My research focuses on CD8+ T cell responses to intracellular bacterial infection, with particular emphasis on the role played by non-classical MHC I (MHC Ib) molecules. MHC I molecules are a group of antigen presenting molecules that present peptide antigens to CD8+ T cells and are invaluable to the adaptive immune response. While research for many years focused almost entirely on the immunodominant but highly polymorphic MHC Ia molecules, the low polymorphism exhibited by MHC Ib molecules makes them attractive targets for the development of novel vaccine strategies. Though a basic scientist, I am keen for my research to be influenced by public health concerns, and as an African, I am particularly sensitive to the needs of the developing world. Of particular interest to me are the often neglected infectious diseases that are responsible for high mortality in many parts of Africa. With these interests in mind, I am interested in the MHC Ib-restricted CD8+ T cell responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and malaria infection.