Pipetting Samples and Test Tube

ONGOING PROJECTS

 

TICK IMMUNITY:

CROSS-KINGDOM IMMUNE PATHWAYS IN TICKS

This NIH-supported grant is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort among four institutions across the United States, under the leadership of the Pal lab. Our group specifically investigates cross-kingdom signaling pathways that are relevant to the transmission and persistence of Lyme disease.

Tick2_edited.jpg

TICK-BORNE DISEASES IN A HUMAN MODEL

We are taking a groundbreaking interdisciplinary approach to Lyme disease with this DoD-funded project. In a collaboration with USUHS and Johns Hopkins University, we will use 3D models of human blood vessels to study the dissemination of the pathogen throughout the human body.

NOVEL VACCINE USING THE RABIES VIRUS PLATFORM

Our newest study, under the support of NIH, will explore the potential of tick and bacterial proteins to protect against Lyme disease. With our partners at TJU, we will incorporate essential target proteins into the widely-used rabies virus system, in an effort to develop safe and effective preventive strategies.

deertick_Nymph_ventral_edited.jpg
DNA_edited.jpg

TICK GENOME & EPIGENETICS

The tick is an ancient and unique arthropod that, despite years of research, remains enigmatic. We hope to enhance our knowledge of its biology by deciphering the genome of the whole Ixodes scapularis tick. We are also interested in the robust epigenetic mechanisms that ticks have evolved, which provide sustainable responses to and buffers against the extreme environmental conditions that ticks persist in, and ultimately impact their biology and vectorial capacity. 

DEVELOPMENT OF TICK IMMUNITY IN MAMMALIAN HOSTS

In our ongoing attempts to develop a Lyme disease vaccine, we are pursuing the concept of "acquired tick immunity".  Some rodents, such as guinea pigs, have displayed signs of tick resistance after multiple encounters. In such cases, ticks have been noted to feed less and drop off sooner. We hope to better understand the mechanisms behind this acquired tick immunity, as it could help to pinpoint vaccine targets. Currently, with the support of extramurally-funded grants and contracts, we are attempting to evaluate the efficacy of select tick antigens (associated either with the genesis of acquired tick immunity, or the support of various aspects of tick physiology, such as blood meal acquisition) as anti-tick vaccinogens. 

remsberg_14102213548_edited.jpg
  • Twitter

©2020 by Pal Laboratory.

Pictures are courtesy of Edwin Remsberg, University of Maryland College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, and the laboratory of Dr. Utpal Pal.

The views expressed herewith do not necessarily reflect the views of our affiliates.

Created with Wix.com.