Alejandro Aballay

Aballay Alejandro 250Alejandro Aballay ia Professor in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology and Director of the Center for Host-Microbial Interactions at Duke University Medical School. Dr. Aballay has made numerous contributions to the field of host-microbial interactions, focusing historically on bacterial virulence factors and their targets in host cells but more recently on organismal mechanisms of control of immune responses against bacterial pathogens. The Aballay lab provided the first evidence that C. elegans uses neural connections to regulate immune responses and associated behaviors. They found that G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) signaling functions in a number of sensory neurons to control microbial killing pathways and cellular stress pathways. Overall, the studies indicate that the analysis of C. elegans immune responses is likely to identify key ancient components of eukaryotic innate immunity, which are highly conserved across metazoans and controlled by the nervous system.

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