Anshu Agrawal, Ph.D.
Dr. Agrawal's research focuses on the dendritic cells of the immune system in the context of aging and autoimmunity.
Decline in immune function is a hallmark of aging, leading to increased susceptibility to infections and reduced response to vaccination in the elderly population. Paradoxically this decline in immune function is associated with low grade chronic inflammation. The molecular mechanisms underlying this chronic inflammatory condition and reduced immunity during cellular senescence are at present not well understood. The primary focus of Dr. Agrawal research is to understand the contribution of innate immune cells such as dendritic cells towards age-associated inflammation and reduced immunity in humans. The two major research interests are 1) Mechanisms leading to age-associated decline in the capacity of dendritic cells to maintain peripheral self tolerance and its contribution to chronic inflammation and autoimmune disorders. 2) Age-associated alterations in the functions of dendritic cells (Myeloid and plasmacytoid) that are responsible for reduced immunity and increased susceptibility to infections particularly, pneumonia and influenza.