Professors in this cluster are working on research regarding all aspects of immunity and infectious diseases.
The immune system is responsible for protecting the body against infections. However, there is a growing awareness that immunity, through inflammation, also plays a role in development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Similarly, microorganisms are involved in infections, but the normal components of our “microbiota” (the microbial species always present on and within our bodies such as the commensals in the intestines) also contribute to health, since they are needed for normal development of immune responses and they have a large effect on chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
The social and physical environment affects not only differentiation or transmission of pathogens, but also host susceptibility to infection. The broad interests of faculty in this cluster thus intersect with other research themes at HSRI but also the general interest in health and environment at UC Merced.
The Immunity and Infectious Diseases Cluster is comprised of faculty members from the School of Natural Sciences, the School of Engineering, as well as, the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts.