- PhD Student
- Supervisor: Dr. Heather Wilson
- Home country: Guang Zhou, China
- BSc (Distinction), Animal Science, University of Manitoba
My research goal is to develop a subunit vaccine against intracellular bacteria called Lawsonia intracellularis. L. intracellularis causes inflammations in small intestine such as porcine intestinal adenomatosis and proliferative hemorrhagic enteropathy in pigs, leading to poor growth, loss of appetite, watery diarrhea, and death. L. intracellularis, like other intracellular pathogens, can effectively be cleared by cell-mediated immunity including CD8+ T lymphocytes and macrophages because CD8+ T cells lyse infected host cells to free L. intracellularis for macrophages to engulf. My project involves designing a method to reliably preculture the white blood cells from vaccinated and/or exposed pigs to identify which of the pathogen's proteins trigger the strongest T cells response, as measured by interferon gamma production. The ex vivo cell culturing techniques will be used as a platform to identify proteins that trigger a cell-mediated immune response to other pathogens in pigs for vaccine development.