Associate Professor, Manitoba Health Research Chair Professor in Immunology, Department of Immunology, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba.    Parasitic diseases continue to be one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity around  the world (particularly in developing countries) and afflict more people than any other infectious  disease. Sadly, despite the high mortality and morbidity and enormous socio-economic impact of parasitic diseases, not much interest is shown in this area of research and parasitic diseases  remain relatively neglected diseases. In Uzonna laboratory we study two diseases caused by  protozoan parasites namely Leishmaniasis and African trypanosomiasis    We utilize experimental animal models to study host-pathogen interactions that result in  susceptibility or resistance to these diseases in Uzonna Laboratory.  We have taken this two-  prong (host and pathogen) approach because we believe "it takes two to tango" and that the  outcome of infection is influenced by the intricate interactions between the host and the  pathogen.  The overarching question that we seek answer to is: “what host and parasite factors lead to susceptibility or resistance to protozoan parasites?”    Two host factors (responses) of particular interest to our laboratory are regulatory T cells and  memory T cells. Some of the questions we ask are:   Do memory cells develop after infection with protozoan parasites?   If they do, are these cells important in resistance to secondary exposure? What can make the host loose an already developed memory response?  How can regulatory T cells be activated to prevent immune cell hyper-activation?      From the parasite's side, we are interested in parasite-derived factors that either: (a) enhance the invasion process (b) contribute to the take-over of host immune defences or (c) alter the immune system to make it permissible for parasite proliferation.     In Uzonna lab, we use knockout mice, genetically modified parasites, and more recently,  proteomics to dissect cellular immune responses following protozoan infections.  Although we  primarily use mouse models in our studies, we are working towards finding vaccines for humans  and livestock. Some of our vaccine candidates are in the early/planning stages of conducting  protection studies in non-human primates.   If you are interested in finding a cure and/or vaccines against poverty-associated and  neglected diseases of the developing world, come and join Dr. Jude Uzonna’s Laboratory.    Another important research activity going on in our laboratory (Host-Pathogen Interaction  Laboratory) involves understanding the pathogenesis of Sepsis/Septic Shock     Sepsis syndrome (also known as systemic inflammatory response associated with infection,  sepsis, severe sepsis, and septic shock) is a condition characterized by a whole-body  inflammatory state and the presence of a known or suspected bacteria, usually gram-negative  organisms.    Sepsis syndrome and septic shock are common and frequently fatal clinical conditions in all  age groups and are leading cause of mortality in intensive care units, particularly in children and older adults. Therefore, understanding the pathogenesis of the disease is an important step  towards designing appropriate clinical interventions both for preventive and treatment purposes. © copyright 2011