FacultyPhotoDeshaneAssociate Professor

Areas of Interest
Inflammatory Diseases

Jessy Deshane received her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics from University of Alabama at Birmingham under the mentorship of Dr. Anupam Agarwal. After completing her post-doctoral training in Immunology with Dr. David Chaplin, in Department of Microbiology, she joined the faculty of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine in the Department of Medicine in 2011 as an Assistant Professor.

Dr. Deshane is committed to an academic career combining basic and translational research with an emphasis on inflammatory diseases of the airway. Research in Dr. Deshane’s laboratory is focused on myeloid-derived regulatory cells (MDRCs) and their immunoregulatory roles in chronic inflammatory lung diseases. Dr. Deshane is particularly interested in delineating mechanisms underlying the differentiation, activation, metabolism and function of MDRCs. Her group recently reported that a subset of reactive oxygen species (ROS)-producing MDRCs exacerbate T cell responses and airway hyper-reactivity in mice. They recently characterized human MDRC subsets in bronchoalveolar lavage of asthmatics.

Dr. Deshane’s current research interests are to study effects of MDRCs on post-translational oxidative and nitrative modifications of self-peptides. This study is based the hypothesis that these modified self-proteins are recognized as non-tolerized neo-antigens and stimulate Th responses that underlie the immunopathology of asthma. Furthermore, her lab investigates how environmental pollutants such as tobacco smoke would impact MDRC function and contribute to exacerbation of inflammation in asthmatic smokers. These studies will provide insight into the role of MDRC in tobacco related pathology of the lung.

Dr. Deshane’s group also studies the function of these myeloid-lineage cells in anti-tumor immunity. They have developed novel therapeutic strategies to target these immunoregulatory cells to enhance anti-tumor immunity for lung cancer; in parallel, they seek to understand molecular signatures of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Their innovative therapeutic strategy targets Indoleamine 2, 3- dioxygenase (IDO), an enzyme that regulates tryptophan metabolism in the TME and suppresses the function of these regulatory myeloid cells. This novel strategy has distinct advantages over existing immunotherapy strategies targeting CTLA-4 and PD-1/PDL-1 in that it overrides the IDO resistance associated with current immunotherapy strategies. Dr. Deshane’s group investigates the mechanisms by which this therapeutic strategy induces metabolic reprogramming in the TME involving IDO and the nutrient sensing metabolic signaling pathways. They also seek to translate these findings in human studies to investigate efficacy of combination chemotherapy strategies in targeting these cells and amino acid metabolism pathways in lung cancer patients.

Education & Training

Graduate School
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Postdoctoral Training
University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Contact Information


THT 433A

Office Phone
(205) 996-2041

(205) 934-1721