Immunotherapy for Infectious Disease

microscopic image of macrophage.

Students will participate in research exploring immunotherapy for infectious disease toward the goal of eradicating pathogens and increasing patient benefits.

Project description

I am developing a new therapy in which the effects of these drugs are combined with augmenting the actions of the innate immune system, to act synergistically to eradicate pathogens which could potentially reduce the drug dosage required, shorten the treatment duration, mitigate dose‐dependent toxicity, and reduce the emergence of drug resistance. This delivery vehicle is a nanoparticle with a macrophage‐specific, immune‐stimulatory ligand on the surface. This nanoparticle will deliver TB and/or HIV drugs specifically to macrophage while concomitantly inducing the production of cytokines and reactive oxygen/nitrogen species within the macrophage, with the goal of intracellular pathogen clearance. We found that we could target and activate macrophage using beta glucan on the surface of a nanoparticle. Furthermore we found that would could increase intracellular uptake within macrophage of TB and HIV drugs. This approach will broaden our scientific knowledge of HIV and/or TB disease therapies and, by combining targeted drug delivery with immune augmentation, create new approaches that will facilitate reducing individual drug doses, reduce systemic drug toxicity and reduce the development of drug resistance.

Project outcome

The specific outcomes of this project will be identified by the faculty mentor at the beginning of your collaboration. 

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment To be determined by student/mentor
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration To be determined by student/mentor
Benefits Volunteer
Who is eligible Students with basic laboratory skills and the ability to work independently
Goldwater and the National Science Foundation

Students participating in this project might be interested in and eligible for the Goldwater Scholarship and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Connect with the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships to learn more.

Project mentor

Jessica L. Reynolds

Associate Professor

Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

6075 CTRC, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Phone: (716) 888-4777


Start the project

  1. Email the project mentor using the contact information above to express your interest and get approval to work on the project. (Here are helpful tips on how to contact a project mentor.)
  2. After you receive approval from the mentor to start this project, click the button to start the digital badge. (Learn more about ELN's digital badge options.) 

Preparation activities

The specific preparation activities for this project will be customized through discussions between you and your project mentor. Please be sure to ask them for the instructions to complete the required preparation activities.