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Robert Lab

Research Interests

Evolution of Immune Surveillance, Tumor and Viral Immunity

Research Area

The overall goal of our research is to understand the co-evolutionary relationships between the structure of selected molecules (e.g., non-classical MHC class Ib molecules) and their functions in innate and adaptive immunity against tumors and viruses using the frog Xenopus as animal model. Current projects: Evolution of Nonclassical MHC Genes and Innate T Cells: We have identified in Xenopus adults and tadpoles a class Ib-restricted semi-invariant T cell (iT) population with many similarities to the mammalian iNKT. While recent data have shown that in mammals these cells appear to play critical roles in host defense against important pathogens including viruses and mycobacteria the full biological significance of these iT cells is still unknown Evolution of Host/Viral Pathogen Interactions: This research area concerns basic comparative and applied studies of viral pathogenesis and immunity in amphibians caused by Poxvirus-like Ranaviruses such as Frog virus 3 (FV3). Because of the threat of emerging wildlife viral diseases on global biodiversity, fundamental research on comparative viral immunity has become crucial

Current Members

Robert, Jacques (Principal Investigator/Director)
Paiola, Matthieu (Post-doc)



Institution: University of Rochester, Medical Center

Rochester, NY

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