Name: Tammy L. Kielian PhD
Affiliation: Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology
College of Medicine
University of Nebraska Medical Center
Dr. Tammy Kielian is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology and the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Her research interests span the fields of immunology, infectious diseases, and neuroscience with a unifying theme of innate immunity. Dr. Kielian’s laboratory has a long-standing interest in studying the pathogenesis and immune responses elicited by Staphylococcus aureus(S. aureus) both in the periphery and central nervous system (CNS), with a particular emphasis on microglial and astrocyte activation. Currently, her group is investigating immune mechanisms associated with S. aureuscraniotomy infections using a unique mouse model developed in her laboratory as well as clinical samples from patients with craniotomy-associated infections. Dr. Kielian’s laboratory was the first to propose that S. aureusbiofilms actively elicit an anti-inflammatory immune signature to explain, in part, why these infections persist in an immune competent host. This is achieved by the preferential recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in addition to polarizing macrophage and microglia towards an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Ongoing studies are to identify the mechanisms responsible for skewing the host innate immune response to an anti-inflammatory state following S. aureus biofilm infection and how this may be targeted to facilitate bacterial clearance.