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T Cell Function in Preterm Infants

babyInfants delivered preterm (prior to 37 weeks gestation) are at high risk for severe disease from viral respiratory infections. It is unknown if premature delivery alters T cell function in a way that increases susceptibility to viral infection or immunopathology. It is also unknown how premature antigen exposure affects the composition of the circulating T cell pool. Two collaborative translational projects with Neonatologists Kristin Scheible, MD, and Gloria Pryhuber, MD, are designed to elucidate the interaction between early antigen exposure and development of the adaptive immune system. These projects include the application of flow cytometry-based multiplex technology and transcriptomics in the analysis of human peripheral blood and tissue samples.