James L. Stafford

University of Alberta, Canada

James Stafford received his BSc in medical laboratory science from the University of Alberta in 1997. He then joined the lab of Dr. Miodrag Belosevic (Dept. Biological Sciences, University of Alberta) and obtained a PhD in 2003 from studies on the antimicrobial mechanisms of teleost (i.e. fish) macrophages. A key contribution from this work was the discovery that the iron-binding protein transferrin has potent proinflammatory effects following proteolytic digestion. In addition, during his PhD studies, James cloned one of the first teleost TLRs and described the expression pattern of this receptor in various tissues following pathogen challenge. James received the Cameron Award from the Canadian Society of Zoologists for his PhD work. From 2003 to 2006 James was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson Mississippi in the laboratory of the late Dr. L. William Clem and Dr. Norman W. Miller. Funded by an NSERC postdoctoral scholarship, James pursued the identification of immunorgeulatory receptors involved in the regulation of catfish immune cell effector functions. EST searches resulted in the cloning and characterization of a family of candidate receptors that likely mediate catfish natural killer cell cytotoxic responses (i.e. allorecognition). Termed, leukocyte immune-type receptors (LITRs), these unique proteins demonstrate structural and phylogenetic relationships with mammalian immunoregulatory receptors such as Fc receptors, killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs), and leukocyte Ig-like receptors (LILRs). James was appointed as an assistant professor in 2006 (University of Alberta) and his lab continues to study the evolution and function of vertebrate immunoregulatory receptors. Recent work from the Stafford lab has revealed that distinct inhibitory and stimulatory signaling pathways are engaged by LITR-types, which have a profound affects on immune cell effector functions.

Biography Updated on 14 April 2011

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