Dr. Nouri-Shirazi's Research
Mahyar Nouri-Shirazi, Ph.D. is a Professor of Immunology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. He is an immunologist with an interest in immunotherapy and vaccines. He has contributed to the field of cancer immunotherapy by designing dendritic cell (DC)-based vaccine for patients with cancer as well as the field of transplant immunology by pharmacologically modified DC-based vaccine for tolerance induction.
Dr. Nouri-Shirazi’s current research program focuses on improving the herd effect of vaccines by decreasing the vaccine failure rates in individuals with a compromised immune system, which is a public health issue especially during pandemic and epidemic outbreaks. His lab discovered that the nicotine component of cigarette smoke decreases the production of effector memory T and B cells and antibodies by adversely affecting the biological activities of DC and ensuing DC-NK cross talk resulting in the failure of both prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines.
His lab is now studying the changes in the quality and quantity of preexisting immunity to childhood vaccination in smokers and their responses to booster and new vaccines. They are also exploring the possibility of refining current and future vaccines using Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists to enhance the humoral and cellular immune responses in this population. Dr. Nouri-Shirazi’s lab has observed that select TLR agonists could potentially reverse immunological defects and improve vaccine efficacy. Their aim is to determine how these agonists, in contrast to other immunological agents already in vaccines or late clinical development, can restore vaccine responsiveness in smokers using humanized mice.