You are here
Magdia De Jesus, Ph.D.
Magdia De Jesus, Ph.D.
- Mucosal Immunology
- Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany
- Research Scientist, Wadsworth Center
- Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine (2009)
- Postdoctoral training: CDC/APHL EID Research Fellow, Wadsworth Center (2009-2011)
- Postdoctoral training: Life Science Research Foundation-HHMI, Wadsworth Center (2011-2014)
The gastrointestinal tract is constantly exposed to an onslaught of dietary antigens and microbes as well as the bacterial and fungal organisms that are part of the host’s microbiome. Most individuals acquire tolerance to these antigens and microbes and maintain a state of intestinal homeostasis over their lifetime. However, it is estimated that more than 1.4 million individuals in the United States suffer from recurrent inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and this number continues to rise. In recent studies, it has been identified that colonization with high levels of Candida sp. in the intestinal mucosa is associated with a number of human diseases such as gastric ulcers, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as familial Crohn’s disease and Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis. However, this is a “chicken or the egg question” as it is unclear whether host inflammation leads to Candida colonization or that Candida colonization leads to further inflammation.
We also know little about the (i) early events of fungal entry into the intestinal mucosa, (ii) the specific innate immune system cells that are involved in fungal sampling, (iii) the basic immunological parameters of how fungi govern intestinal immunity and (iv) how pathogenesis is established in the gut. We have recently identified a specific non-macrophage dendritic cell (DC) population within intestinal Peyer’s patches (PP) that express the C-type lectin receptor (CLR)-Langerin. Our preliminary studies reveal that Langerin+ DCs are central in the uptake of Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis and yeast purified β-1,3-glucan particles (GPs). Our aim is to further investigate the specific role of the PP Langerin+ DCs after Candida uptake and the T-helper (Th) immune responses that are elicited.
Specifically we are interested in:
- Understanding the role of Peyer’s patch Langerin+ dendritic cells (DCs) in the regulation of intestinal homeostasis.
- Understanding the relationship between the fungal microbe C.albicans and PP Langerin+ DCs in immune competent and immune compromised hosts.
- Designing micro and nanoparticle delivery vehicles to modulate immune responses within PPs.
To learn more, please visit the De Jesus Laboratory pages under research.