Lung immunity and repair: effects of influenza, interferons and pollutants

After his PhD on thymocyte development at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in London, Andreas Wack moved to the research institute of Novartis Vaccines in Siena, Italy, where he worked on the modulation of human T and NK cell function by the hepatitis C virus, human dendritic cell subsets and their crosstalk, the mechanism of action of vaccine adjuvants, and next generation influenza vaccines. Since 2009 he is back at the NIMR, now Francis Crick Institute, where his group studies the responses of airway epithelia and innate immune cells to influenza infection and to influenza-bacterial co-infection. His lab aims to identify determinants of immunopathology and protection and has assessed unique and redundant roles of type I and type III interferons in influenza. A second focus of his group is airway epithelial cell differentiation, a process that has to be efficient and balanced to guarantee timely repair of lung tissue damage during infection.