Satya Dandekar, Ph.D.
Infectious Diseases Unit
Professor & Chair
Dept. of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
UC Davis School of Medicine
Dr. Dandekar’s research program focuses on GI tract pathogenesis and defenses in the SIV/macaque model for simian AIDS. This includes studies of the effects of SIV infection on the magnitude and nature of the gut mucosal immune response to incoming pathogens or co-infections, specifically Salmonella typhimurium, role of gut mucosal innate immunity by characterizing functional defects in key immune cells, impact of initiating early antiretroviral therapy in reversing GI tract mucosal damage and restoring the mucosal immune functions, and development of novel assays for measuring cytokine responses at the single-cell level.
Gut Mucosal Response to Viral Infection
The model of SIV infection of rhesus macaques offers unique opportunities to study molecular mechanisms of lentivirus enteropathogenesis with direct relevance to HIV infection and AIDS. This animal model is used to study the effects of virus infection on the magnitude and nature of the gut mucosal immune response to incoming pathogens or co-infections, to analyze the role of gut mucosal innate immunity, and to assess the impact of initiating early antiretroviral therapy in reversing the virus-induced gut mucosal damage.