About the Lab
Natural Killer cells are cytotoxic immune cells and our first line of defense against viral infections and tumors. Members of the Paust laboratory are interested in the development and testing of novel immunotherapies that elicit clinically relevant Natural Killer cell-mediated anti-viral and anti-tumor immunity. Our research program is centered on the discovery that subsets of Natural Killer (NK) cells are long-lived and capable of antigen-specific immunological memory to viruses and altered self, giving precedence to investigations that seek to exploit NK cell activity to prevent or cure disease. Using pre-clinical models and clinical samples, we are pursuing three specific goals:
Using pre-clinical models and clinical samples, we are pursuing three specific goals:
- Identification of the mechanisms by which subsets of murine and human NK cells mediate antigen-specific immunological memory responses
- Identification of NK cell-specific immune correlates of protection from viral infection or malignancy
- Development of effective, host-protective vaccine or therapeutic approaches that elicit potent NK cell-mediated recall responses in vivo
To enable our studies, we routinely utilize mouse models, xenograft models, and clinical samples for the immunological analyses of human innate and adaptive immune responses.