Our research faculty are internationally recognized as leaders in the field of innate immunity. We are engaged in various lines of research designed to identify fundamental aspects of host defenses against infectious diseases. As these immune mechanisms are highly conserved throughout the animal kingdom, we employ a variety of approaches, including studies of Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, genetically altered mice, cell culture systems and human patients to characterize innate immune mechanisms. The work encompasses a variety of human diseases that represent many of the most important bacterial, parasitic and viral diseases. These include, but are not limited to, diseases caused by Plasmodium (malaria), Listeria, Leishmania, Group-B streptococci, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Neisseria meningitidis, West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever Virus, Influenza, Herpes Viruses, Candida, Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Yersinia pestis (plague), Papilloma virus and Pox viruses. In addition to working on pathogens, we have developed approaches to studying important infectious syndromes, such as septic shock and sexually transmitted infections. Finally, we have made major discoveries concerning non-infectious (sterile) inflammatory disorders including autoimmune diseases such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease. Several groups within the Division of Infectious Diseases are also part of the Program in Innate Immunity, an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental group of investigators studying innate immunity in both health and disease.