We are an internationally diverse group of scientists who share a common passion: scientific discovery. Here at AU, we blend our expertise and creativity to discover new ways to harness the power of the immune system to treat disease. If you are interested in joining our team, please email us!
Klaus Ley, M.D.
Georgia Research Alliance Bradley Turner Eminent Scholar in Immunology
Co-Director, Immunology Center of Georgia
Professor, Department of Physiology
Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University
Translational research: We compare immune cells in the blood of people who have atherosclerotic cardiovascular
disease (CVD) and who do not. Depending on the cohort, CVD may be assessed by coronary
angiography, CT angiography or ultrasound. We use single cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq),
using a version that can also show the cell surface proteins (CITE-Seq) and the sequences
of the highly variable T cell receptors and B cell receptors. From this, we can assess
clonal expansion, a result of breaking tolerance. Tolerance is the process by which
the adaptive immune system recognizes and tolerates self. When this breaks down, the
rogue T and B lymphocytes make atherosclerosis much worse and instruct other immune
cells like monocytes and neutrophils to destroy the artery wall. We are mainly interested
in CD4 and CD8 T cells, mechanisms of establishing and failing tolerance, and approaches
to re-establish tolerance once broken. Although the focus is on atherosclerosis, the
principles and mechanism we discover also apply to other autoimmune diseases like
lupus, type 1 diabetes and many more. If you like bioinformatics, flow cytometry or
biochemistry, this is for you.
Basic Research: We study how integrins are activated. Integrins are a large family of heterodimeric adhesion receptors. We focus on 4 of them, known as beta2 integrins. We use imaging, flow cytometry, high resolution microscopy and intravital microscopy. If you like microscopy, this is for you.
Yan Wang, PhD
Amir Khan, PhD. (Biomedical Science)
Sunil Kumar, Ph.D.
Mohammad Oliaeimotlagh, MD MSc
Mikhail Fomin, MSc
Michael Nakama, MS