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Aftab Ahmed Ansari, PhD

Aftab Ahmed Ansari, PhD headshot

Yerkes Researcher
Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Experimental Pathology
Emory University School of Medicine

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- Mechanisms of disease resistance in SIV infected sooty mangabeys
The sooty mangabeys is a species of monkeys which is naturally infected with the simian immunodeficiency virus ( SIV ) but remains completely healthy throughout its life. SIV isolated from this species when used to experimentally infect rhesus macaques develop chronic debilitating disease similar to human HIV infected individuals. My lab has shown that this 2 distinct clinical outcomes is not secondary to viral loads, the cell lineages that become infected in these 2 species and while both the disease resistant and susceptible species develop reasonable titers of SIV specific antibodies, only the disease susceptible species develops virus specific cellular responses.This finding is indeed a paradox. My lab is now focused on using antibodies and chemotherapeutic agents which deplete specific cell lineages in vivo in effort to identify the importance of each of these cell lineages in disease resistance and susceptibility.

- Mechanism of pathogenesis of human primary biliary cirrhosis
Autoimmune mechanisms have been implicated in the pathogenesis of human PBC. The major autoantigens for human PBC have been cloned , sequenced and the immunodominant T and B cell epitopes identified. My lab has been involved with identifying a role for the lipoate molecule which is associated with the lysine residues of each of the immunodominant peptides. We believe that the lipoate molecule serves as a hapten and environmental pollutants serve as chemical mimics replace the lipoate molecule which is sufficiently different to break tolerance and initiate the autoimmune process. Studies aimed at proving this hypothesis are the focus of the lab.

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