Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Ahmed, Rafi
Location Emory University School of Medicine
Primary Field Immunology and Inflammation
Secondary Field Microbial Biology
 Election Citation
Ahmed has made significant discoveries relating to the creation and survival of cells that create a kind of memory in the immune system. He demonstrated that ineffective memory cells, generated by chronic infections, are revitalized by blocking a specific inhibitory protein. Ahmed's findings are also being applied to research into therapies for the treatment of cancer and the prevention of organ rejection.
 Research Interests
The immune system can remember, sometimes for a lifetime, the identity of a pathogen and respond with much greater vigor upon re-encounter with the same microbe. This immunological memory is the defining characteristic of the adaptive immune response and forms the basis of vaccination against infectious diseases. The major focus of my research is to understand the mechanisms by which immune memory is generated and maintained and how memory cells are created. Our goal is to define the cellular and molecular basis of T and B cell memory and to use this knowledge to develop vaccines that will confer long-term protective immunity. We are also studying the mechanisms of T cell dysfunction during chronic viral infections and developing immune strategies for the treatment of chronic infections.

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