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Richner Lab

University of Illinois Chicago

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Research Overview

The overall goal of the Richner lab is to define the signaling pathways, cytokine networks, and cellular dynamics which lead to a robust adaptive immune response and immunologic memory following viral infection or vaccination. With this information, we can develop novel prophylactics and therapeutics to combat infectious diseases.

Increased age is associated with a decrease in the function of the immune response, leading to a greater risk of infectious diseases and reduced vaccine efficacy. One aim of the lab is to uncover the mechanistic underpinning of the defective immune response in aged populations.

A second aim of the lab is to develop novel vaccine strategies. Recent technological advances have lead to a number of promising vaccine platforms including antigen-coding mRNA vaccines encpasidated in a lipid nanoparticle. Our lab is working to refine these mRNA-LNP vaccines for use in immunosupressed populations as well as combatting infectious diseases which have proven a significant challenge to traditional vaccine development, such as Dengue virus.

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