Janko Nikolich-Zugich, M.D., Ph.D.

Title
Professor and Head
Department
Immunobiology
Institution
University of Arizona
Address
1501 N Campbell Ave
City, State, Zip
Tucson, AZ 85724
Phone
(520) 626-6065
E-mail
nikolich[at]email.arizona.edu
Website
http://immunobiology.arizona.edu/faculty/janko-nikolich-zugich-md-phd
Research Field
Immunology
Award Year
1991

Research

My laboratory is interested in the biology of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in health, infection and aging. Much of the studies are performed in the context of the relationship between immunity and pathogens over the lifespan of the organism, with a specific emphasis upon the age-related defects in immunity and defects in homeostasis of the immune system. Diagnosis of the most critical, primary defects in innate and adaptive immunity of the old age is being followed by studies to repair or modulate those defects by immune intervention as well as by tailored, rational vaccine design. Our studies are often pursued by vertical model integration - using broad and fundamental studies in rodents to crystallize questions to be asked and verified in non-human primates, leading to final and most relevant studies in humans. The main virus targets of these studies are herpesviruses (HSV and CMV) and flaviviruses (chiefly the West Nile virus - WNV), although the research has more recently been broadened to bacteria (Listeria and Francisella).

All of our studies fall under the two broad topics: (i) understanding which CTL properties are most critical for virus elimination; and (ii) elucidating how are CTL maintained for life and why their biology is disturbed with old age.