Center for Microbiology and Immunology (CMI)
The mission of the Center for Microbiology and Immunology (CMI) is to advance discovery in human immunology and expand the understanding of human disease processes. As microbiome have a sweeping impact on complex human diseases, we aim to understand the interplay between host-microbe interactions and immune genetics to elucidate the pathogenesis of complex immune and inflammatory diseases. We believe in the value of basic science discovery and in emphasizing individual diversity (as well as the perspective of diverse faculty) to promote innovation in personalized health care of immune diseases. We strive for excellence in all that we do and teach trainees to do in microbiology, immunology, microbiome research and education.
The Center for Microbiology and Immunology brings together an exceptional group of researchers to foster basic science research, education, and translational medicine on the immune system across all the disciplines in Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University.
CMI research encompasses the major aspects of immunology with special focus on host-microbe interactions, inflammation, and autoimmunity. The center provides collaborative support for other researchers at the Katz School in four important areas; (1) microbiome research, (2) systems biology, (3) imaging and (4) immunoprofiling. By leveraging our expertise in these areas, the Center tackles complex questions, helping scientists generate data for publications, grant proposals, and translate their discoveries into clinical applications . We also partner with the Katz School of Medicine’s full-time teaching faculty to help train the next generation of scientists
The Microbiome and Human Disease Program was initiated in 2019 to provide assistance for the design and implementation of research projects that involve the microbiome. To better respond and facilitate collaborations, we established a gnotobiotic (Germ-free) mouse facility that is currently operating under the supervision of Dr. Çağla Tükel. Germ-free mice are available to assist researchers in facilitating novel projects and in augmenting ongoing ones as this new field gains significant momentum in the medical field. Our Microbiome and Human Disease Program has interfaced with multiple disciplines, establishing unique collaborations in areas that include autoimmune disease, colorectal cancer, aging, and CNS disorders.
A holistic systems biology approach is required to dissect the molecular mechanisms driving health and disease during infections. Dr. Vincent Tam leads the Systems Biology efforts, providing support with high-throughput approaches to interrogate genomic, transcriptional, proteomic, and lipidomic profiles necessary to study the immune function and disease states.
Billions of immune cells, subdivided in specific subsets and dispersed in all our tissues and organs, defend the body from infections, keep our microbiome in check, and maintain the homeostasis necessary for health. Changes in the immune cells and their products not only occur during host defense but also promote disease in most organs and systems.
Through advanced techniques of cellular and molecular immunology, Dr. Stefania Gallucci guides colleagues and collaborators through the discovery and analyses of the 15 main subsets of immune cells that affect health and characterize most disease states from cardiovascular disease to neuro-pathology to cancer and autoimmunity. It is pivotal to understand how these cells change within the context of disease in order to harness and build upon the copious seminal discoveries in immunology that have benefitted every field of medicine.
The blood offers a window to the immune system. Combining immunostaining using multi-marker cytometric analyses and sorting specific populations for genomic, transcriptional, proteomic, and lipidomic studies enables us to produce large sets of rich immunoprofiling data. Dr. Gallucci provides the expertise to design and interpret these studies.
Confocal microscopy is a powerful tool for the imaging of fixed tissues, helping us determine the spatial organization of immune cells, detect activated immune pathways and interrogate the composition of microbiota -- including specific species and their proximity to tissue structures of interest.
Confocal microscopy can also perform 4D live cell imaging, allowing the observation of immune cell interaction with 3D microbiota biofilms over time. Under the direction of Dr. Bettina Buttaro, it is being used in collaborative imaging projects and interdisciplinary projects to develop new image-based 4D computational tools for characterizing interactions of cells with bacterial biofilms.