Dr. Deepta Bhattacharya is a Professor of Immunobiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. He received his Bachelors degree from Indiana University in biochemistry, his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in molecular and cell biology, and postdoctoral training at Stanford University. In 2008, he began his own lab at Washington University in St. Louis, first as an Assistant Professor and then as a tenured Associate Professor. He returned in 2017 to his birthplace of Tucson and to the University of Arizona, where his research group studies immune responses to vaccines and infections. His group has made many findings on molecular and cellular pathways and features of vaccines that are important for durable immunity. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bhattacharya’s research and viewpoints were featured heavily in major media outlets such as The New York Times, National Public Radio, CNN. and The Wall Street Journal.
Our immune system locks down intrusive agents to fight disease. And it’s capable of learning through exposure to fight new agents. But it could be better at stopping disease that our body creates by itself through mutation. Like cancers. What if we could use the programmable power of RNA vaccines to train our immune systems to recognize not just new viruses, but also rapidly regenerating mutations? Advances in vaccine research have shown the possibility of training our immune systems to lock down and shut out anything that isn’t “natural” in our bodies – however we define it.