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About Wei-ping Zeng

Research Overview
CD4 T cells are the most important players of the immune system. The majority of them (~95%) are conventional CD4 T (Tcon) cells. They are responsible for immune responses against various infectious agents, therefore are essential for the survival of animals and humans in a nonsterile environment. However, when immune responses by CD4 Tcon cells are directed against self-antigens and allergens, they cause autoimmune and allergic diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and asthma. To keep these “bad” CD4 Tcon cells in check, the immune system has evolved to contain a small “police army” (~5%) of regulatory CD4 T cells or Treg cells to stop the activation of the harmful CD4 Tcon cells. Thus, the Treg cells are also essential for the health of the host such that animals and humans lacking Treg cells die of multi-organ autoimmune and allergic diseases at young age. The general goal of our research is to uncover the cellular, molecular and biochemical mechanisms that control the functions of CD4 Tcon and Treg cells.

Positions

Present Associate Professor, Biochemistry and Microbiology, Marshall University
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Contact Information

Phone: (304) 696-3892 Fax: (304) 696-7207

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