Level 6, Seminar Room
Wallace Wurth Building
Sydney NSW 2052
The Kirby Institute is pleased to present:
Professor Janko Nikolich-Zugich- Bowman Professor and Head, Department of Immunobiology and Co-Director, Center on Aging.University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona
"Rules governing homeostasis, Repertoire mobilization and Protective Immunity change with old age."
Age-related defects in production, maintenance and function of lymphocytes are commonly described in quantitative terms, as a reduction in molecules, cells and/or processes that govern various facets of the immune function. Qualitative changes often also ensue from these quantitative changes, most frequently in the form of insufficient or dysregulated immune responses that lead to sickness and/or death. The opposite is also possible, so that qualitative alterations of cells and molecules and of their spatial arrangement can lead to quantitatively diminished responses.
Results presented here will provide evidence for the third possibility – that the very rules that govern maintenance and function of the adult immune system change with age, and therefore orchestrate different types of responses. Specifically, such results will illustrate age-related changes in (i) homeostatic rules that enforce selection of different types and classes of naïve T cells with aging; (ii)epigenetic changes that drive the process of selection and survival of some, but not other T cell clones during the primary immune response: and (iii) changes in polarization of the immune response against acute viral infection. Broader implications of such “rule breakers” associated with immune aging will be discussed.
Dr. Nikolich-Zugich is internationally recognized as a leading immunologist and gerontologist. He received his M.D., MSc and Ph.D. in Immunology from Belgrade University Medical School. From 1987 to 1990, he worked as a Research Associate at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in the laboratory of Dr. Michael J. Bevan, FRS, NAS, HHMI. In 1990, he joined the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York as the Head of both the Flow Cytometry Core Facility and the Laboratory of T Cell Development. He served as an Assistant Professor (1990-1996) and an Associate Professor (1996-2001) at both the Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences and the Division of Molecular Medicine in Cornell University School of Medicine. He was a recipient of the Pew Biomedical Scholar Award and the Louise and Allston Boyer Young Scientist Award. In 2001, Dr. Nikolich-Zugich assumed the position of Senior Scientist at the Oregon Health & Science University at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute, along with joint appointments as a tenured Professor in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and a Senior Scientist at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. In 2008, Dr. Nikolich-Zugich moved to the University of Arizona to lead the Department of Immunobiology and the Arizona Center on Aging. His long-term interests include basic mechanisms of T-cell function, immunity to infection in older adults, vaccines and biomarkers of declining immunity in the elderly, immune rejuvenation, immune monitoring in chronic conditions of aging and the impact of inflammation and nutritional intervention in aging, immunity and metabolic disorders. He has published over 130 scientific papers and reviews describing his work.