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Jatin Mahesh Vyas, M.D., Ph.D.

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1985 - 1989
Welch Foundation Scholar in Chemistry
Internship, Michael E. DeBakey, MD summer student program
Introduction to Biomedical Research Participant
1988 - 1989
Alpha Epsilon Delta Honor Society
Goodfellows Award
1989 - 1996
Medical Scientist Training Program Fellow
1990 - 1994
MSTP Medical School Admission Committee Member
1992 - 1993
Arthritis Foundation Medical Student Grant
Medical Student Award
Invited Platform Speaker for the Sixth Annual Graduate Student Research Symposium
Oral Presentation at the XIV Annual Convention
Sigma Xi Dissertation Excellence Award, Honorable Mention
2000 - 2001
Chief Resident in Internal Medicine
Kass Award for Clinical Excellence in Infectious Diseases
IDSA Travel Grant for Outstanding Abstract
Partners in Excellence for Outstanding Service to the Department of Medicine
Travel award for outstanding abstract

My research interests focus on the immune responses to fungal pathogens. Charged with the responsibility to protect a host from pathogenic microorganisms, the immune system detects, neutralizes, and eliminates these invaders using many different specialized cells. One arm of the immune system deploys sentinels throughout the body. Their purpose is two-fold. First, professional antigen presenting cells (APCs) capture invading pathogens by phagocytosis and degrade them before they cause additional harm to the host. Second, APCs must “deliver the message” about the presence of pathogens in the periphery to T cells located in regional lymph nodes in order to amplify the immune response. How does an APC talk to the T cell? Both cells come together and form a cell-cell synapse whereby the T cell interrogates the surface of the APC for the presence of a pathogen-specific signal that, when present, activates the T cell. Specialized immune proteins, termed class II MHC molecules, are heterodimeric protein complexes that present this signal. Dendritic cells (DCs) are potent professional APCs that express abundant class II MHC molecules and possess the unique capacity to activate naïve T cells. In order to serve as an effective APC, newly-captured pathogens must be shuttled to the endolysosomes for degradation. To accomplish this task, APCs place pathogens into membrane-delimited compartments termed phagosomes. These compartments undergo a series of membrane modifications, drop their pH and activate proteases which facilitate degradation of the cargo. The biomolecular mechanism of phagosome maturation is incompletely understood including the identity and kinetics of association and dissociation of most proteins on phagosomal membranes. When properly folded, class II MHC molecules form a pocket for pathogen-derived peptides (protein fragments). In the endolysosome, a specialized compartment within the APC, class II MHC molecules associate with pathogen-derived peptides and traffic from intracellular compartments to the cell surface. Antigen presentation requires the coordinated efforts of multiple host proteins including members of the tetraspanin superfamily, though their exact function in this process remains poorly understood.
When the process of antigen processing and presentation works well, the host is protected from a number of virulent microorganisms. Failure of an effective immune response, however, can lead to overwhelming infection and possibly death. This failure is caused typically by specific cellular defects in the immune system as seen in HIV infection, older age, or administration of immunosuppressive medications. My major goal is to understand the rules that govern the fate of fungal pathogens including Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans and Cryptococcus neoformans upon phagocytosis by real-time visualization of professional APCs expressing fluorescently-tagged proteins relevant to antigen processing and presentation using spinning-disk confocal microscopy.

I also serve as the tenth Program Director for the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine. I oversee the educational activities for the interns and residents. The MGH Internal Medicine Residency program has a long and world-renowned tradition of training leaders in academic medicine and biomedical science. The foundation of our program is rigorous clinical training that emphasizes clinical excellence, teamwork, leadership and career development. Our dedicated teaching faculty, resident research opportunities and experiences in international health and the local community ensure that our residents become outstanding physicians.

We enjoy strong house staff camaraderie and a supportive community in which diversity is celebrated. We take pride in training leaders in clinical and basic research, clinical practice, education, health policy, global health, administration and others. The outstanding achievements of our graduates remain the strongest affirmation of the goals of the training program

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R13AI174638 (VYAS, JATIN M) Dec 22, 2022 - Apr 21, 2023
    2023 Immunology of Fungal Infections GRC/GRS
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. R38HL150212 (VYAS, JATIN M) Jul 1, 2020 - Jun 30, 2024
    MGH Next Generation Physician-Scientist Through Stimulating Access to Research in Residency Program (MGH-Next Gen StARR)
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. R01AI150181 (VYAS, JATIN M) Apr 10, 2020 - Mar 31, 2025
    Control of Type I Interferon Production in Response to Candida albicans
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. R25AI147393 (VYAS, JATIN M) Aug 12, 2019 - Jul 31, 2025
    Pathways to Mentorship and Research: Training the Next Generation Physician-Scientists
    Role: Principal Investigator
  5. R01AI136529 (VYAS, JATIN M) Jan 11, 2018 - Dec 31, 2023
    The Functional Role of the Tetraspanin CD82/Kai1 in Fungal Innate Immunity
    Role: Principal Investigator

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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.