Why Some Diseases Only Affect Babies
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Newborns are more susceptible to bacterial pneumonia than older children or adults. In addition, the high rate of chronic lung disease in preterm infants (bronchopulmonary dysplasia) is likely due to infection or exposure to inflammation. Both situations may result from pathogens taking advantage of a window of opportunity as infants transition from an immune tolerant state to one of protection against microbes. While existing dogma has considered newborns as immunocompromised, the facts around the development of immunity are more nuanced.
Dr. Lance Prince’s laboratory uses both patient studies and experimental disease models to understand the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of developmental immunity. In this talk, Dr. Prince will discuss ongoing projects focused on the role of lung macrophage populations in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and in mediating lung repair following injury. Additionally, the molecular basis for newborn susceptibility to Group B streptococcus pneumonia, which rarely causes disease in older populations. The goal of this work is to develop new precision treatment strategies for newborn lung diseases based on fundamental biological mechanisms.