Dylan Boehm, PhD Student

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Dylan Boehm, PhD Student 2015-

BS in Biology from California University of Pennsylvania.

I work with Bordetella pertussis the causative agent of pertussis (whooping cough), a respiratory infection leading to a violent cough, of which can be fatal in infants that are not vaccinated. I study the role of the innate immune system in response to the infection.  In particular, I am looking into the effects of the toxins that mediate the disease, and the specifics of how the immune system responds to these toxins. Pertussis toxin and adenylate cyclase toxin both cause dysregulation of cellular signaling in phagocytes, resulting in an insufficient innate immune response.  By understanding the role of phagocytes in response to pertussis infection, we can better design vaccines to optimize the clearance of the pathogen by innate immune cells.