Michal Olszewski, DVM, PhD
I received my PhD in pulmonary research and postdoctoral training Pulmonary Medicine research. I am directing a pulmonary host-defenses research lab at the VA Ann Arbor Hospital and remain funded by the VA since 2002. I served as the primary adviser of a recent PhD graduate (Alison Eastman PhD) and now serve as adviser of two postdoctoral fellows, including one supported by Pulmonary T32 grant. Additionally, I co-mentor two PhD students and a postdoctoral fellow. I serve on Graduate Student Affairs Committee for the Graduate Program in Immunology at the University of Michigan and for 8 consecutive years direct a PhD level class Experimental Immunology (IMM 850), which prepares PhD students for qualifying exams in our T32-funded graduate program. I have also successfully trained undergraduate students and post-bacs towards medical/graduate schools with the ultimate goal of training medical scientist (both physicians and PhDs) with 95% placement rate at the desired post-graduate programs.
Our specific research projects focus on:
1) The mechanisms of cryptococcal dissemination and studies of anticryptococcal defenses in the CNS, mechanisms that navigate CNS-tropism of C. neoformans.
2) Functions of myeloid cells in host-defenses to C. neoformans as: first line of innate defenses (resident macrophages and DC); potent APC (DC) essential to stimulating naive T cells; distal effector cells (monocyte derived macrophages and DC) performing fungal clearance and/or mediating pathology.
3) Role of macrophage polarization, their plasticity versus stability as well as macropahge PRR signaling in anti-fungal immunity.
4) Novel aspects of the chemokine and cytokine signaling in generation or execution of protective immunity to C. neoformans.
5) The role of T cell polarization in invasive fungal infections and its effect on microbial clearance and the development of immunopathology.
6) Contribution of specific fungal virulence genes to different mechanisms of C. neoformans pathogenesis and immune evasion.