Full name: Prithiviraj Jothikumar
B.S. Biomedical Engineering 2010, Georgia Institute of Technology
My interests are in understanding how the microenvironment affects 2D kinetics of immune cells and in result, how that affects cell function. More specifically, how viral infection helps shape up the microenvironmental factors that regulate CD8+ T cell kinetics and function in mouse Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus model. Implications from this study provides how host develop memory immune cell populations following viral clearance.
In the context of viral immunology, my interests are also in how mutant viral peptides escape T cell cytolytic function using human CD8+ Cytomegalovirus T cells. In addition to characterizing 2D affinity for the receptor-ligand interaction, I am interested in understanding how the mutant viral peptides exhibit their interactions with the immunodominant T cells by characterizing their respective force-lifetime profiles using biomembrane force probe (BFP) assay.
Overall, my interests has been in understanding immune cell dynamics in the context of diseases (viral and genetic disorder). My past research has been in characterizing adhesion molecules on neutrophils from patients with Cystic Fibrosis and also studying the initial dynamics of influenza virus binding to cells.