Dr. Clinton Mathias Receives AAI Award

Clinton B. Mathias, Ph.D.
The American Association of Immunologists announces the 2019 recipients of AAI Awards for outstanding research and career achievements. Former Immunology graduate student Dr. Clinton Mathias of Western New England University has received this honor for outstanding service to AAI and the immunology community as director of the AAI High School Teachers Program from 2012-2018.

Dr. Jenna Bartley

Jenna Bartley, Ph.D.
We welcome Dr. Jenna Bartley as an assistant professor to the Department of Immunology. Dr. Bartley studies translational research into human aging with a focus on how immune responses and physical function decline as we get older.

Dr. Penghua Wang

Penghua Wang, Ph.D.
We welcome Dr. Penghua Wang as an assistant professor to the Department of Immunology. Dr. Wang’s research is focused primarily in host-pathogen interactions, with a focus on RNA viruses in vivo and in vitro.

Rathinam Lab Discovers New Role for Gasdermin D

Ishita Banerjee and Vijay Rathinam, Ph.D., D.V.M., in the lab
The Rathinam lab has discovered a new role for the cell death protein Gasdermin D. Their latest Immunity paper first authored by Ishita Banerjee, an Immunology graduate student, demonstrates that gasdermin D inhibits the production of type I interferon molecules in response to self and foreign DNA that entered the cytosol. Since type I interferons have profound roles in autoimmune diseases such as lupus and cancer immunity, the findings from this study may have therapeutic implications. View the study.

Andrei E. Medvedev, Ph.D.

Andrei Medvedev, Ph.D.

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I report the untimely passing of our dear colleague Dr. Andrei Medvedev.

Andrei obtained his Ph.D. in Moscow, Russia, and initially trained as a postdoctoral fellow in Trondheim, Norway with Dr. Terje Espevek, where he carried out some of the earliest mechanistic work on TNF receptor signal transduction. In 1996, he moved to the USA to carry out a second postdoctoral position with Dr. Stefanie Vogel at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD where he started a successful career studying the molecular mechanisms underlying endotoxin sensitivity and endotoxin tolerance. In 2002, he moved with Dr. Vogel to the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) where he obtained independent funding from NIH and other sources, and rose through the ranks to become an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology. In 2013, he accepted a faculty position in the Department of Immunology at UConn Health and settled in quickly as an educator and researcher. Andrei had a profound impact at UConn Health through his many collaborations, expertise in innate immunity and biochemistry, and his excellence as a mentor and colleague.

He was an incredibly hard worker and his studies in macrophage activation and Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling was recognized the world over, and he was a highly productive, NIH-funded investigator at both UMSOM and UConn Health. In addition to his outstanding funding and publication records, Andrei was an invited speaker to many universities and scientific conferences. His research spanned the areas of TLR signal transduction in sepsis to autoimmune disease. Some of his most highly cited work was in the field of endotoxin tolerance and the role of Pellino proteins in the regulation of TLR signaling. His major goal was to understand the basis of sepsis, and then implement effective treatment strategies.

Anyone who knew Andrei knew that he was a scientist’s scientist. He was careful, creative, a consummate critical thinker, and a willing collaborator. Andrei never gave up on his research ideas, and through his sustained persistence found great success. On a personal note, Andrei was a generous colleague and a reliable friend. He always enjoyed talking about the traveling he did with his wife and was very proud of his children. Outside of his research pursuits, Andrei possessed a tremendous love of classical music and was a skilled piano and guitar player. He was also a faithful fan of the Washington Capitals NHL hockey team and was elated for weeks when they won the Stanley cup this past spring.

Andrei will be missed by all who knew him, but his legacy and the memories of him will live on. He is survived by his loving wife Svetlana and their children Anastassia and Anton.

Donations may be made to a memorial fund in honor of Andrei Medvedev in support of an early stage investigator seminar in the Department of Immunology, UConn Health:

UConn Foundation
Attn: Aaron Frankel
10 Talcott Notch Road, Suite 100
Farmington, CT 06032

Please indicate “In Honor of Dr. Medvedev” on your donation.

Anthony T. Vella
Professor and Chair
Department of Immunology
UConn School of Medicine
UConn Health