The field of immunometabolism has fundamentally revolutionized our understanding of the pathogenesis of infectious diseases. In a landmark study, we first report immune cells in HIV-infected volunteers utilize glucose differently from uninfected volunteers and is linked to immune dysfunctions. At the fundamental level, nutrient metabolism influences immune cell survival, differentiation and functions, and our work illuminates how HIV distorts host metabolic machineries as an immune escape mechanism.
Krystal Vail, DVM, PhD, is a veterinary pathologist with a research focus on mechanisms of disease and host-pathogen interactions. Her research to-date has centered on understanding (i) how intracellular bacterial pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Rhodococcus equi, and Listeria monocytogenes, interact with host innate immune pathways and (ii) how peripheral infections influence neural inflammation and degeneration.