NKT cells are an important part of human immune system and recognize a specific set of antigens called glycolipids. Only a handful of "natural" NKT cell antigens are known till date. Although NKT cells play a protective role against pathogenic organisms, imbalances in NKT cell functions are implicated in many diseases including asthma. Allergic asthma, a Th2 driven inflammation of airways, is primarily caused by inhalation of environmental allergens. In the last decade, inhaled allergen Aspergillus fumigatus has been under scrutiny for the presence of NKT cell antigens that might trigger asthma. We successfully isolated, characterized and synthesized a "natural" antigenic glycolipid which activates NKT cells in CD1d dependent manner. When this glycolipid is administered intranasally to mice, WT but not CD1d-/- mice developed airway hyperreactivity (AHR), which is a cardinal feature of asthma. Our results indicate that this glycolipid also triggers the production of key cytokines responsible for development of airway hyperreactivity, namely IL-4 and IL-13. Widespread use of antibiotics has convoluted the problem of antimicrobial resistance. Our research group has developed a novel class of antimicrobial peptide mimics called Ceragennins. These cholic acid based antimicrobial compounds have many desirable properties including low MICs, effectiveness against biofilms, and relatively low manufacturing cost. In order to advance the clinical development of Ceragennins, we developed analytical methods for qualitative and quantitative determination of these compounds in complex biological matrices. These methods were also used for carrying out the stability studies of Ceragenins under varying pH and temperatures



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry



Date Submitted


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NKT cells, Aspergillus, Glycolipids, Antimicrobial peptide mimics, Analytical method development