Respiratory viruses are a leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia worldwide, due an inefficient viral immunity even after disease resolution. These viruses can cause severe symptoms both in the respiratory and nervous systems, such as bronchiolitis and encephalopathy, respectively. We have observed that some respiratory viruses prevent the proper function of immune cells, such as T cells and dendritic cells, by impairing the immunological synapse assembly between these cells. Inhibition of the immunological synapse could work as a major virulence factor by impairing host immunity and enhancing susceptibility to reinfection. Further, respiratory viruses can cause a learning impairment due to inflammation at the central nervous system. Due to alterations on the blood brain barrier after infection, elements of the immune system enter the CNS impairing the normal function of neurons and astrocytes in the host. Based on these data, we have generated novel vaccine approaches to strengthen the immunological synapse leading to protective immunity against these respiratory pathogens and preventing CNS damage. These findings have permitted us to design a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, which is currently in preclinical evaluation.
Mon, Aug 31, 2020 · 4:00 PM Berlin (GMT 2:00)
Alexis M. Kalergis
Alexis M. Kalergis is a Full Professor at the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Endocrinology, School of Medicine, at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He has also been Visiting Faculty at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, The University of Nantes in France and the University of Iowa, where he currently holds a Helen C. Levitt Visiting Professorship. Dr. Kalergis is a Biochemistry graduate from P. Universidad Católica of Chile and obtained his PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at The Rockefeller University, both in New York. Dr. Kalergis was awarded the Gold Medal by the World Intelectual Property Organization and the National Innovation Award in Chile. He was incorporated to the Chilean Academy of Sciences. Dr. Kalergis works at generating and teaching new knowledge on Immunology and Microbiology, and tries to translate basic scientific knowledge into new technologies aimed to improve human health. He also serves an elected member of the Council of Scientific Advisor of the ICGEB in Trieste, Italy and the Educational Committee of the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies.
Rosana Pelayo
Rosana Pelayo is Doctor in Biomedical Sciences -Immunology- from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, trained with Paul W. Kincade at the Immunobiology and Cancer Program, OMRF, USA. She currently holds a Principal Investigator position in the Mexican Institute for Social Security, Puebla, Mexico, where leads the Oncoimmunology Laboratory, focused on normal, malignant and emergency hematopoiesis in acute leukemias and inflammatory pathologies.
Rosana Pelayo is Past-President of the Mexican Society of Immunology and Vice-Chair of the IUIS Education Committee.