Immunoregulatory networks in the liver operate at steady state to limit aberrant responses to dietary and benign gut microbiota derived antigens. However, the liver is also a target for globally relevant pathogens including Plasmodium parasites and the hepatitis viruses. As such, the liver must also employ mechanisms to override steady state immune tolerance to induce protective immunity.
The primary goal of the Minkah lab is to discover and define mechanisms that dictate the generation of durable, protective liver-resident memory T cell responses. Observations from our studies will guide the rational design of highly efficacious malaria vaccines and immune-directed therapies against hepatic maladies.