|Dr. Vithal Ghanta|
Professor, Cancer Immunology
Ph.D. (Chemistry & Biochemistry), 1970, Southern Illinois University
The primary interest of our group centers on the communication between immune system and the central nervous system. The interaction between these two systems has now been firmly established due to the sharing of common signal molecules and also the presence of receptors for these molecules.
We have established that the afferent signal for conditioned augmentation of NK cell activity is interferon and the efferent signals are derived from the opioid pathway and also hypothalamus-pituitary axis. However, the neural 'site' where the CS signal (camphor odor) links with the US (interferon) or the neural route within the CNS by which the CS triggers the expression of the conditioned response has not been clearly established.
The goals of our research are to establish the mechanisms of conditioning and also applications of conditioning as a modality for the treatment of cancer in mice. In addition to immune system and central nervous system communication, we are also interested in the development of immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of murine tumors.