Text Box: Wenxia Song Associate Professor wenxsong@umd.edu    301-405-7552  
1133A Microbiology Building

Text Box:           Cell Biology of B lymphocytes Gonococci-uterine epithelial cell interaction
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The first major interest of my laboratory is to understand how B-lymphocyte activation is initiated and regulated. B cell-mediated antibody responses are one of the major components of the adapted immunity. B cells sense antigens in their environment through the B cell receptor (BCR). The binding of antigen to the BCR initiates signaling cascades and rapid internalization of antigen. The internalized antigen is processed and presented in the context of MHC class II for recognition by T helper cell. The activated T cells provide additional stimulatory signals for B cells. BCR signaling cascades and T helper cells provide two stage signals that are essential for the induction of T cell-dependent antibody responses and the generation of memory B cells. The current focus of my laboratory is to study the cellular interplay between the BCR and the actin cytoskeleton during signaling activation and crosstalk between BCR signaling and antigen processing pathways. In addition, we are interested in understanding the unique cellular properties of memory B cells that give these cells longevity and the ability to rapidly expand and differentiate into antibody secreting cells.

The second major interest of my laboratory is the interaction between human epithelial cells and bacterial pathogen, Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhea, caused by N. gonorrhoeae, is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. We are particularly interested in gonococcal infection in women because the infection often is asymptomatic but able to cause serious squeal. Currently, we focus on identifying cellular apparatus in the genital epithelium that are required for bacterial adherence, invasion, and transmigration and bacterial surface molecules that activate these host cell apparatus. Additionally, we are interested in the effects of sex hormones on gonococcal infection and host immune responses induced by gonococcal infection.Text Box: University of Maryland, College Park

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Text Box: Department of Cell Biology & Molecular genetics