As women age, they become more susceptible to infections such as HIV. I am studying the role of aging and specifically loss of neutrophil function on HIV acquisition in the female genital tract.
Alexandra Werner, Ph.D. Student
The female genital tract (FGT) is populated by immune cells that can generate an immune response and prevent HIV acquisition. My research focuses on defining local specialized innate lymphoid cells at homeostasis and their response to HIV infection within various sections of the FGT.
BS 2020, Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA.
Siddharth Parthasarathy, Ph.D. Student
The main route of HIV infection in women is through sexual transmission. The female genital tract (FGT) comprises of distinct anatomical regions, populated by specialized immune cells capable of generating an immune response against infections while allowing reproduction. My research aims to characterize subsets of dendritic cells unique to the FGT and elucidate mechanisms of innate immune response to HIV.
Rona Wang, Research Assistant
Jared Fortier, Data Scientist
Laura Moreno de Lara (Former PhD student, graduated January 2024)
HIV prevalence is increasing worldwide, with women from certain areas disproportionately affected by HIV infection. My research in the Rodriguez-Garcia lab was focused on identifying the mechanisms that mediate HIV recognition by genital neutrophils, the subsequent release of NETs, and the NET-associated protein composition that inactivates HIV.
Francisco Carrillo-Salinas (Research Associate)
I had two main projects in the Rodriguez-Garcia lab. The first was to understand the role of the genital microbiota in modifying neutrophil function and anti-HIV activity by 1) studying how short-chain fatty acids influence neutrophil function and 2) uncovering age-dependent modifications in key molecules involved in neutrophil migration and cell-cell interactions (Carrillo-Salinas et al, Cells. 2022 Aug 13;11(16):2515. doi: 10.3390/cells11162515). The second project was to use spatial transcriptomics for deep characterization of neutrophils in the human female genital tract.
C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development
Gil Mor, M.D., Ph.D – Director
275 E. Hancock
Detroit, MI 48201