Research in the Harty laboratory is focused on understanding the dynamics of the T cell response, how effector and memory T cell differentiation are regulated, how memory T cell populations are maintained and how they can be generated and manipulated to enhance protective immunity. We then use this basic information to manipulate immune responses for optimal protection against Plasmodium infection of the liver and blood and Influenza virus infection of the lung.

The major approaches in the lab involve identification of new questions through sophisticated analyses of in vivo T cell responses to various pathogens or immunization regimens. These observations are then dissected at the cellular, biochemical and molecular levels to generate a comprehensive mechanistic view of T cell regulation. We recently initiated projects to use intravital 2-Photon imaging to further dissect immunity to infections of the liver, brain and lungs. Ultimately our goal is to provide fundamental insights that will inform vaccine design and therapeutic interventions for major human infectious diseases.

Current projects in the lab

  1. Basic immunology and imaging of CD8 T cell immunity to liver-stage malaria
  2. CD4 T cell and antibody mediated immunity to blood-stage malaria
  3. Basic immunology and imaging of cerebral malaria
  4. Tissue resident memory CD8 T cell dynamics and protection from influenza virus infection of the lung
  5. Impact of repetitive influenza exposure on generation and persistence of protective CD8 T cells
  6. Regulating memory CD8 T cell differentiation through inflammatory cytokines
  7. Imaging CD8 T cell interactions with skin tumors