Research DescriptionDr. Schlesinger’s research focuses on innate immunity in mycobacterial and Francisella infections by studying human mononuclear phagocyte interactions with pathogenic mycobacteria, particularly M. tuberculosis and F. tularensis. The laboratory uses a variety of approaches (cell biology, immunology, molecular biology and biochemistry) to study the role of microbial surface glycoconjugates in complement activation and in binding to phagocyte receptors. It also focuses on the mechanism of phagocytosis of microbes by macrophages, the intracellular signaling and trafficking pathway of microbial products and the ability of intracellular pathogens to regulate the biosynthesis and expression of macrophage class II molecules, accessory molecules for antigen presentation and molecules involved in cellular adhesion. The laboratory uses novel in-vitro models that include surfactant components to study innate immune responses to these pathogens in the air spaces of the lung. Newly characterized clinical isolates of bacteria and mutant strains of bacteria are used. New scientific platforms include glycomics and lipidomics with the goal to identify novel therapeutic targets against infectious agents.
Transinstitutional WorkDr. Schlesinger is director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and founding director of the OSU Center for Microbial Interface Biology (CMIB), a Board of Trustees’ approved campus wide research and education Center, focused on infectious diseases, microbial pathogenesis and biodefense. There are 11 core faculty members in the CMIB with a total of 70 members from six colleges that are performing interdisciplinary, cutting edge research using a variety of scientific platforms. Dr. Schlesinger is also chair of the steering committee for the Provost-initiated Targeted Investment in Excellence (TIE) program called “Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases” that includes 125 faculty for the Colleges of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Public Health, Pharmacy, Biological, Math and Physical sciences and Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Schlesinger’s research programs include a variety of partners such as those in the CCC, Heart & Lung Research Institute, Nationwide Children’s hospital and Research Institute, the OARDC, Columbus Public Health and Battelle.