Portrait of Dean Nardelli

Dean T. Nardelli, PhD

  • Associate Professor, Chair, Biomedical Sciences Department, (Biomedical Sciences and Diagnostic Medical Imaging Programs)


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Interests & Expertise

Dean Nardelli’s research looks at arthritis as frequent manifestation of Lyme Disease. Lyme borreliosis, caused by infection with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, is the most common tick-borne disease in North America. It is a multi-stage inflammatory disease that affects several body systems, leading to significant morbidity in untreated individuals.

Arthritis is among the most frequent pathological manifestations of later-stage Lyme borreliosis and, in a subset of genetically predisposed individuals, persists even after completion of antibiotic therapy.

One hypothesis to explain this phenomenon is the development of autoimmunity following infection with B. burgdorferi. In order to reduce morbidity in individuals with later-stage manifestations of Lyme borreliosis, it is imperative to understand the immune factors that contribute to disease. Cells of the adaptive immune response (T cells, specifically) are considered to play a significant role in the development of later-stage Lyme arthritis.

His is investigating the host and microbial factors that lead to the induction of different T cell subsets that are responsible for the development, progression, resolution and, potentially, prevention of Lyme arthritis. He is also investigating how later-stage disease symptoms affect, and are affected by, the host’s response to infection.

Selected Publications

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