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UNC Chlamydia Vaccine Initiative: Quest for a T cell Vaccine
March 12, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Toni Darville, MD, Vice Chair of Research, Chief of Infectious Diseases, UNC’s Department of Pediatrics
Darville is an active clinician and educator for medical and scientific trainees at all levels. The ultimate goal of her lab is to develop a vaccine to protect against Chlamydia trachomatis infection-induced sequelae of infertility and blindness, diseases of global societal and economic impact.
Darville has used animal models and human samples to study pathogenic and protective immune responses after chlamydial infection. Noteworthy research accomplishments include discovery of a pathogenic role for the innate immune receptor, TLR2, and a primary role for innate inflammation, in the development of oviduct disease after chlamydial infection. She has discovered chlamydial antigens highly recognized by CD4 T cells from women previously infected with C. trachomatis who appear to resist reinfection and is probing additional human samples to confirm the potential utility of these antigens as vaccine candidates.
Collaborative efforts include chlamydial vaccine studies in animals, and systems biology studies to determine beneficial and deleterious responses in women who sustain sexually transmitted infections.