Since the beginning of my scientific career, I have been interested in understanding the role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of severe infections in general, and of fungal infections in particular. My research focus is directed towards understanding the recognition of pathogenic microorganisms by pattern-recognition receptors, as well as the cytokine response induced during infection. We have described the first comprehensive model of recognition of a fungal pathogen by the innate immune system, we had an important contribution to the elucidation of the mechanisms responsible for inflammasome activation in various cells types and we also identified novel immunodeficiencies leading to specific susceptibility to fungal infections such as dectin-1 deficiency and STAT1 defects in chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis. A major area of interest during the last years was the discovery of innate immune memory induced by infections or vaccinations, a process identified and described as ‘trained immunity’. In addition, we are currently involved in a major systems biology effort to understand variability of human immune responses within the Human Functional Genomics Project (see www.humanfunctionalgenomics.org).
Pattern recognition and cytokine responses during innate host response.
Medical studies at the "Iuliu Hatieganu" University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Understanding variability of human host response
Trained immunity as a memory for innate host defecse
Novel human immunodeficiencies
PhD studies at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands
2000 - 2005
Internal medicine/infectious diseases specialization at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, the Netherlands