The researchers bring grants and studies on T-cells, viruses and vaccine development with them.
The new team of notable immunologists at SDSU includes, clockwise from left, Joy Phillips, Elizabeth Virts, Ed Morgan, Marilyn Thoman and Phyllis Linton.
Five internationally known immunologists have joined the research faculty of San Diego State University’s BioScience Center, bringing with them several active grants from the National Institutes of Health, the university announced today. The researchers, formerly of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, started at SDSU on June 30.
All of their research, including projects on T cells, microRNA and vaccine development, intersects in some way with heart disease -- the primary focus of research at the SDSU BioScience Center.
“The vision of the BioScience Center has always been to bring in top-level researchers, and we are excited to welcome this new group,” said Dr. Roberta Gottlieb, director of the BioScience Center. “They will help us expand the science being explored here, and our students will benefit from the knowledge and mentorship they bring.”
The five new researchers and their research interests are:
- Phyllis Linton, Ph.D.: T cells and their reduced response during aging, which affects the body’s ability to fight infection.
- Ed Morgan, Ph.D.: Novel approaches to vaccine development for influenza virus and cancer.
- Joy Phillips, Ph.D.: Developing an influenza vaccine adjuvant that is effective in the elderly population.
- Marilyn Thoman, Ph.D.: The development and maturation of T cells in the aged.
- Elizabeth “Libby” Virts, Ph.D.: The emerging area of micro-RNAs which regulate gene expression in immune cells.
Collaborating with faculty and students
“We are looking forward to collaborating with SDSU professors and staff at the Bioscience Center and are also excited about the opportunity to work with the students of San Diego State,” said Thoman, who had been with the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center since 1997 and The Scripps Research Institute prior to that.
Collaborations with other SDSU researchers are already in motion. Morgan is working with biology professor Kelly Doran in her development of a vaccine for staph infection.
The researchers will be located in the Donald P. Shiley Center for Cardiovascular Research within the SDSU BioScience Center. Darlene Shiley donated $1.25 million last year to establish the center.
About SDSU’s BioScience Center
San Diego State’s BioScience Center is an innovative research facility with the mission to understand how chronic infections contribute to cardiovascular disease and other chronic, age-related diseases. SDSU undergraduate, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows participate in research laboratories as part of their training.