Research & Publications
Research in the Shaw laboratory is directed toward understanding the mechanisms underlying the functional decline of the human immune system with aging. Our group demonstrated age-associated alterations in human Toll-like receptor function, and remains engaged in understanding the function of these and other innate immune pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in older adults--particularly the contribution of such PRRs to the heightened pro-inflammatory milieu found in older adults (so-called "Inflamm-Aging"). We are particularly interested in the effects of age on immunologic, gene expression and metabolic signatures of influenza vaccine response, in view of the particularly poor responses to vaccination found in older adults and the need for improved influenza vaccines. Additional ongoing projects include the study of immune system aging in the context of HIV infection (with older adults constituting one of the fastest growing groups with HIV disease) and of the differential effects of agents used for medication-assisted therapy of opioid use disorders (such as methadone and buprenorphine) on immunologic responses and inflammation in individuals with and without HIV infection.
Specialized Terms: Mechanisms underlying the functional decline of the immune system with aging
Aging; DNA Repair; Immune System; Immunity, Innate; Influenza Vaccines; Toll-Like Receptors; Infectious Disease Medicine