Mercedes Rincon

Defining immune responses to infection and autoimmune diseases

Interests among the research faculty include transcriptional regulation of cytokine genes, death receptor signaling, gamma delta T cells, immunogenetics of infectious and autoimmune diseases, and host response to arenavirus and hantavirus infection.

Collaborative faculty interests include immune responses to several viruses, bacteria, and parasites, as well as asthma, transplantation and tolerance, and maternal/fetal immunology. A large number of faculty participate in the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases, funded by an NIH COBRE grant.


Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)

The Immunobiology faculty partnered with faculty in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics since 2006 to successfully compete for a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) Award from NIH (NCRR). This allowed the formation of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases (VCIID), which now numbers 21 faculty in eight departments in four colleges. During the first five years of Phase I COBRE funding, VCIID faculty published 213 articles and received nearly $48 million in funding, excluding the COBRE funds.

In 2011 the COBRE grant was renewed for an additional five years. The College of Medicine will build a new BSL3 facility in partnership with the Vermont Department of Health, and recruit faculty to the theme of the host response to infection.