Daniel F Hoft
MD, University of Missouri/Columbia
PhD in Microbiology/Immunology, University of Iowa
Department: Internal Medicine, Molecular Microbiology, and Immunology
Academic Rank: Professor
Phone: 314-977-5500 Fax: 314-771-3816
Primary Area of Cardiovascular Research Interest
- Prevention of immune-mediated cardiac disease associated with infectious pathogens (specifically Trypanosoma cruzi).
Related Areas of Cardiovascular Research Interest
- Molecular pathogenesis of chagasic cardiomyopathy.
Summary of Cardiovascular Research Interest
The Hoft lab is an immunobiology lab developing vaccines for mucosally invasive intracellular infections. One of the main infectious models being studied is Trypanosoma cruzi infections in mice. T.cruzi causes Chagas disease which is the most common infectious cause of chronic cardiac disease and the most common cause of sudden death in Brazil . Chronic T. cruzi infection leads to immune-mediated cardiac pathology resulting in arrhythmias and/or dilated cardiomyopatahy. The Hoft lab has identified a T. cruzi antigen that appears to be a promising vaccine candidate, and is studying the immune mechanisms important for protective immunity induced by this vaccine in mice, is investagating the events required for development of protective memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells specific for the vaccine, and is determing whether the experimental vaccine can protect against chagastic cardiac disease when used either as a prophylatic or immunotherapy. T. cruzi specific TCR transgenic mice have been generated providing highly sophisticated molecular tools for this work. In collaboration with additional SLU investigators, the Hoft lab is also studying the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of chagasic heart disease.