The overarching goal of the Sellati Laboratory is to understand how host responses are ‘tailored’ to the specific pathogens they encounter, particularly pathogens that represent emerging and re-emerging infectious bacterial and viral agents whose arthropod vector are ticks and mosquitoes. Studies in the laboratory focus on two distinct, yet interrelated aspects of bacterial and viral pathogenesis (i.e., disease development and resolution). In both instances, we believe innate immunity, a pre-programmed first-line defense against invading pathogens, plays a defining role in the disease process.
A fundamental question we hope to answer is why some infected individuals present with more severe and/or persistent inflammation and various disease symptoms than others. With such an answer in hand one can envision the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutic strategies to better prevent or combat infectious diseases in individuals, respectively.