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Dario Simões Zamboni is a professor in the Department of Cell Biology at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, and he joins the show to discuss the ins and outs of his important and fascinating research.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • What type of cell death actually leads to an immune response capable of controlling the replication of pathogens in the body
  • What types of parasites and bacteria are able to subvert the function of cells that are crucial to the immune response
  • How innate immune memory works

Zamboni’s research focuses on the interactions between host cells in the human body and microbial pathogens. According to Zamboni, understanding the processes that occur in relation to these interactions is key to understanding the outcome of certain diseases.

When a pathogen is able to replicate in the host’s body, severe illness and even death can result, but under certain circumstances, the body can fight a pathogen and regain homeostasis. So, what dictates what will happen? This is one of the questions Zamboni spends his days investigating.

Of particular interest to Zamboni are the intracellular parasites Leishmania and Trypanosoma cruzi, and the intracellular bacteria Legionella and Coxiella burnetii. These pathogens are considered virulent, which means they are adapted to subvert the function of certain cells, such as macrophages which are integral to the immune response.

In the presence of these pathogens, macrophages are rendered unable to kill the pathogen or recruit other cells to kill the pathogen. Zamboni’s goal is to better understand how exactly this process of modification by the pathogen works, and what exactly dictates whether the host or pathogen wins.

Among other topics, Zamboni talks in detail about the process of phagocytosis, pathogenesis, innate immune memory, the many receptors we have that are ready to sense the most abundant components of bacteria, and bacterial secretion systems for modulating immune cells.

Tune in and check out https://lpm.fmrp.usp.br/en/ to learn more.

Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK

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