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Michal Olszewski, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Research Biologist,
Veteran Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Division


The scientific interest of our group focuses on the interface of the adaptive and innate immunity during host-pathogen interactions. The development of protective responses against fungal and bacterial pathogens are a common theme of these studies. The mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of Cryptococcus neoformans infection and the persistence of this microbe are the main focus of our work. The interplay between host and microbial factors on different aspects of the host response to this pathogenic yeast are extensively studied, including T cell polarization, activation of innate immune cells (macrophages and dendritic cells), cytokine signaling, changes in leukocyte activation patterns, and control of dissemination of this pathogen from lungs into the CNS.

Recent Publications

Chen GH, McNamara DA, Hernandez Y, Huffnagle GB, Toews GB and Olszewski MA. Inheritance of Immune Polarization Patterns is linked to Resistance versus Susceptibility to Cryptococcus neoformans in a Mouse Model. Infection and Immunity; 76: 2379-2391, 2008

Osterholzer JJ, Surana R, Milam JE, Montano GT, Chen GH, Sonstein J, Curtis JL, Huffnagle GB, Toews GB, Olszewski MA: Cryptococcal urease promotes the accumulation of immature dendritic cells and a non-protective T2 immune response within the lung. Am J Pathol; 174: 932-943, 2009

Osterholzer JJ, Milam JE, Chen GH, Toews GB, Huffnagle GB, Olszewski MA: Role of dendritic cells and alveolar macrophages in regulating early host defense against pulmonary infection with Cryptococcus neoformans, Infect Immun; 77: 3749-3758, 2009

Jain A, Zhang Y, Fields BW, McNamara DA, Choe MY, Chen GH, Erb-Downward JR, Osterholzer JJ, Toews GB, Huffnagle GB, and Olszewski MA. Th2 but not Th1 Immune Bias Results in Altered Lung Functions in Murine Model of Pulmonary C. neoformans Infection. Infection and Immunity; 77: 5389-99 (12) 2009

Zhang Y, Wang F, Tompkins KC, McNamara A, Jain AV, Moore BB, Toews GB, Huffnagle GB, Olszewski MA: Robust Th1 and Th17 immunity supports pulmonary clearance but cannot prevent systemic dissemination of highly virulent Cryptococcus neoformans H99. Am J Pathol; 175: 2489-2500 2009

Osterholzer JJ, Chen G, Olszewski MA, Curtis JL, Huffnagle GB, Toews GB. Accumulation of CD11b+ Lung Dendritic Cells in Response to Fungal Infection Results from the CCR2-Mediated Recruitment and Differentiation of Ly-6Chigh Monocytes, J. Immunol. 183(12): 8044-53, 2009

Hardison SE, Ravi S, Wozniak KL, Young M, Olszewski MA, Wormley FL. Pulmonary Infection with an Interferon-gamma Producing Cryptococcus neoformans Strain Results in Classical Macrophage Activation and Protection. Am J Pathol; 176: 774-785, 2010

Zhang Y, Wang F, Huffnagle GB, Toews GB Bhan U, Standiford TJ, Olszewski MA. The Role of Toll Like Receptor 9 (TLR9) in Anticryptococcal Host Defenses. Submitted to American Journal of Pathology in revision AJP09-1104.


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