Research Day Speaker


Research Day Speaker

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The College of Pharmacy is pleased to present Kodi Ravichandran, PhD, as the 2019 Research Day keynote speaker.

Kodi Ravichandran, PhD, is a professor and the chair of microbiology, immunology and cancer biology at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine. He is also the director of the Center for Cell Clearance at UVA. Ravichandran’s presentation is titled, “Eating a good 'apoptotic meal': Relevance of cell clearance mechanisms in health and disease”. The talk will be held at 11:15 a.m. in 115 Biomedical Research Tower.

After receiving a degree in Veterinary Medicine from Madras Veterinary College, Ravichandran received his PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1992. He performed his post-doctoral work in the Division of Pediatric Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. After a year as instructor at Harvard Medical School, Ravichandran joined the faculty at UVA.

Ravichandran’s research focuses on apoptotic cell clearance and intracellular signaling pathways regulating T and B lymphocyte function. The daily clearance of billions of apoptotic (dying or dead) cells is fundamentally important in maintaining health. Failure to promptly and efficiently clear apoptotic cells can lead to chronic inflammation, autoimmunity and developmental defects. Ravichandran’s laboratory addresses how the apoptotic cells are recognized by phagocytes, ingested and removed without harm to the host. His laboratory is also addressing how adapter proteins and chemokine receptors regulate specific checkpoints during T cell development in the thymus.

Every day people turn over billions of cells in the body as part of routine healthy living. When this process is perturbed, and the dying cells are not properly disposed, this can lead to inflammation in the tissues, with implications for diseases such as arthritis, atherosclerosis, and lupus. In his talk, Ravichandran will speak about his lab’s goal of understanding the molecular details of how a dying cell is so beautifully recognized and removed in the body, and how researchers can harness certain aspects of this process for dampening inflammation and tissue regeneration.