Microbiology & Immunology Graduate Student
B.S. degree in Biology, Southwestern University
Y. enterocolitica causes acute gastroenteritis, but its major virulence factors successfully inhibit early immune responses by blocking critical steps such as phagocytosis and cytokine production. New evidence shows that Y. enterocolitica inhibits in macrophages the activation of the inflammasome, the secretion machinery of IL-1β and IL-18 pro-inflammatory cytokines. IL-18 is an important cytokine for developing protective immunity against Y. enterocolitica infection and the intestinal epithelium has recently been shown to be a significant source of IL-18 during inflammation. Since the Yersinia-activated inflammasome has not been characterized in epithelial cells, my goal is to determine the components of the inflammasome and to examine if its activity and IL-18 secretion are modulated by Yersinia virulence factors during infection. Thus far, I have been able to show that the Yersinia virulence protein YopH, which is known to inhibit phagocytosis, also has a novel role in inhibiting the secretion of IL-18. Recently, we have found evidence indicating that the mechanism by which YopH mediates its inhibition of the inflammasome involves blocking β1-integrin signaling.
- MAP-kinase-dependent IL-1alpha intracrine signaling is modulated by YopP during Y. enterocolitica infection. Bose R, Thinwa J, Chaparro P, Zhong Y, Bose S, Zhong G, Dube PH. Infection and Immunity. 2012. 289-297.
- IL-17A and IL-17F are important for the host response to Y. enterocolitica infection. Youmin Zhong; Adriana Chaparro; Josephine Thinwa; Jorge Medina; Yoichiro Iwakura; Peter Dube. PLoS ONE. 2012. Under Revision.
1st place poster presentation award at Texas branch American Society for Microbiology conference
Travel award to the NIAID/IDSA Infectious Diseases Research Careers Meeting
2010 and 2011 recepient of the CA Whittier Minority student scholarship award
2011 recepient of the Translational Science Training grant
- Texas Branch American Society for Microbiology conference "Modulation of IL-18 secretion from the gut epithelium by Yersinia toxins" Nov 2011.
- NIAID/IDSA Infectious Diseases Research Careers Meeting "Modulation of IL-18 secretion from the gut epithelium by Yersinia toxins" May 2012.