The Rodda lab studies how tissue resident memory B cells and plasma cells enhance protection from mucosal pathogens, especially evolving variants, and may reduce transmission. In particular, we focus on understanding the regulated interactions between these cells and their respiratory tract niches that enable rapid control of respiratory infections including RSV, SARS-CoV-2 and influenza without causing damaging inflammation such as in asthma and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. We study these critical interactions in mouse models and in a translational program by leveraging antigen-specific flow cytometry, high-parameter microscopy and transcriptomics. Our work will help design vaccines that induce protection that is durable and effective against variants and reveal new therapeutic targets for regulating tissue lymphocytes in lung pathologies. 

We are currently focused on four main questions:
1.    How are plasma cells and memory B cells maintained in the lung and upper respiratory tract?
2.    How are virus-specific plasma cells and memory B cells established in the lung?
3.    How do these populations evolve with subsequent infections?
4.    How do virus-specific plasma cells and memory B cells contribute to protection, but not pathology?