Honors & News
November 14, 2009
Microbiologist David Topham, Ph.D. discussed his work on flu and the current pandemic at 4 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, in the Class of '62 Auditorium (Room G-9425) at the Medical Center. The talk, part of the
Second Friday Science Sociallecture series, is geared mainly to faculty, staff and students at the University, though the general public is welcome as well.
Topham is an expert on how the body fights the flu, and he helps to direct a research center that is part of a key Federal network designed to fight the flu. He's busy directing studies aimed at understanding the current pandemic and preventing future ones, as well as studying infected people to learn how the body fights the flu.
November 3, 2009
With flu vaccination season in full swing, research from the University of Rochester Medical Center cautions that use of many common pain killers – Advil, Tylenol, aspirin – at the time of injection may blunt the effect of the shot and have a negative effect on the immune system.
Richard P. Phipps, Ph.D., professor of Environmental Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, and of Pediatrics, has been studying this issue for years and recently presented his latest findings at the Bioactive Lipids in Cancer, Inflammation and Related Diseases Conference.
URMC co-investigators on the study in Cellular Immunology include: David Topham, Ph.D., an expert in the immune response to influenza and a principal investigator in the David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, and Simona Bancos and Matthew P. Bernard, of the Department of Environmental Medicine's Lung Biology and Disease Program.
July 7, 2009
The discovery of three cases of the pandemic H1N1 influenza that are resistant to a key antiviral drug is not surprising, experts say. What is worrying some is that one of the cases of resistance to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) occurred in a woman in Hong Kong who had not been treated with the drug.
But until these cases emerged, there had been no sign of oseltamivir resistance in the pandemic H1N1 flu. Keiji Fukuda, M.D., of the World Health Organization, said there is still no evidence that a resistant strain is being transmitted. That said,
the emergence of drug-resistant viruses is not unexpected,according to David Topham, Ph.D., of the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.,
especially in light of the increased use of influenza antivirals in the context of this recent pandemic.
May 18, 2009
Researchers have successfully tested for the first time a computer simulation of major portions of the body's immune reaction to influenza type A, with implications for treatment design and preparation ahead of future pandemics, according to work accepted for publication, and posted online, by the Journal of Virology. The new
globalflu model is built out of preexisting, smaller-scale models that capture in mathematical equations millions of simulated interactions between virtual immune cells and viruses.
A team of immunologists, mathematical modelers, statisticians and software developers created the new model over three years within the Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The project was led by Hulin Wu, Ph.D., principal investigator of the project, director of the Center for Biodefense Immune Modeling (CBIM) and division chief of the Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, and by Martin S. Zand, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of the CBIM. The work was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
High-speed, accurate computer simulation tools are urgently needed to dissect the relative importance of each attribute of viral strains in their ability to cause disease, and the contribution of each part of the immune system in a successful counterattack,said Zand.
Real world experiments simply cannot be executed fast enough to investigate so many complex surprises, and we must keep pace with viral evolution to reduce loss of life.
April 28, 2009
Stained transmission electron micro-graph (TEM) of the A/CA/4/09 swine flu virus. (Photo Credit: CDC / C. S. Goldsmith and A. Balish)
As the death toll from swine flu in Mexico rises and new cases appear in the United States and elsewhere, it's easy to get caught up in a sense of mounting dread. But experts in influenza and infectious disease say the exact level of danger from the virus is still far from certain.
This is something of concern [but] I think we should hold back on calling it a real threat,said David Topham, co-director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center.
We always have to take these things seriously, but we have a very good system in place to respond.
April 1, 2009
In February, a group of experimental ferrets at a research facility in the Czech Republic fell ill. The ferrets had recently been injected with a culture containing what was believed to be a straight shot of the seasonal influenza virus, but their symptoms were severe and wholly unexpected. Researchers later determined that they were suffering from avian influenza; the seasonal flu culture had been contaminated with the deadly virus H5N1.
I think it points to major problems,says David Topham, Ph.D., a microbiologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center and co-director of the New York Influenza Center of Excellence.
Although contamination can happen easily,he says,
there should be sufficient safety measures in place to prevent it.
- The B cell response and hemagglutinin stalk-reactive antibody production in different age cohorts following 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccination. Clin Vaccine Immunol. In press. (2013 Apr 10).
- Heterovariant cross-reactive B-cell responses induced by the 2009 pandemic influenza virus A subtype H1N1 vaccine. J Infect Dis. 207, 288-96. (2013 Jan 15).
- Stability of T cell phenotype and functional assays following heparinized umbilical cord blood collection. Cytometry A. 81, 937-49. (2012 Nov 01).