MARIA GOMES-SOLECKI, DVM

Associate Professor

Office: 301E MOLECULAR SCIENCES BUILDING
858 MADISON AVENUE
MEMPHIS TN 381630000
Tel: (901) 448-2536
mgomesso@uthsc.edu

Education

  • D.V.M., University of Lisbon, Portugal, Veterinary Medicine Clinical & Laboratroy

Research Interest/Specialty

My research interests arise from milestone driven fundamental research where I am inspired to make basic discoveries in the laboratory and apply them to alleviate human disease. Walking the line between academia and industry I pursue basic research at the University funded through the NIH RO1 and UO1 mechanisms and when applicable I translate these discoveries into vaccines and diagnostics against infectious diseases funded through the NIH SBIR program.

Research keywords

Borrelia burgdorferi, Leptospira spp., immunoprophylaxis, diagnostics, oral vaccines, immunopathogenesis

Research description

Work in my laboratory focuses on the development of oral vaccine delivery vehicles using commensal bacteria (i.e. Lactobacillus spp. and E. coli) capable of inducing protective immune responses against microbial pathogens and that can counteract the immune disregulation that leads to autoimmune diseases. We use a number of tools (microbiology, molecular biology and immunology) to investigate innate and adaptive immune mechanisms of protection (Th1, Th2, Th17 and Treg).  Major projects relate to the development of reservoir targeted vaccines against spirochetal diseases, such as Lyme disease and Leptospirosis.

Area of teaching/subject

Beliefs About the Teaching-Learning Process • Students learn from each other; faculty learns from students; an atmosphere should exist which encourages a free exchange of knowledge. • Competencies to be developed by students should be clearly stated so that students will understand the purpose of any learning experience. • Clinical practice and academic theory should be closely related in the curriculum because students learn best when relevance to practice is apparent. • The acquisition of simple skills early, in the curriculum, followed closely with opportunities to practice the skills with clients help to develop self-confidence in students. This confidence will not only reinforce learning, but will generate motivation for further learning. • Learning experiences which are inconsistent or conflicting with each other, or which provide negative feedback, create interference and prolong learning time. Experiences that reinforce each other and are accompanied by positive feedback are more easily and rapidly learned. • Ability to apply principles is of greater practical value than knowledge of many facts. • Students should have opportunities to identify how they learn best. A variety of teaching methods should be used in the curriculum to provide students who learn at different speeds and by different means with different learning opportunities. • Students will learn best how to become good interdisciplinary health workers with respect for other team members if they have many opportunities to interact with and learn from persons in other health disciplines. • Role models are important in students’ development of professional behavior. • Early treatment of students as colleagues facilitates internalization of the professional role. • Clinical education should provide a setting and planned opportunities for students to learn, including time for clinical educators to give feedback to students about their performance. • Clinical education should provide a setting that will enable the student to reach goals established jointly by the student, the clinical educator, and the academic faculty. • Learning experiences in the classroom and clinic should provide for progressively increasing complexity and breadth of application. • Learning occurs through emotional as well as intellectual involvement of the student.Educational Technology, Institutional Research, and Biomedical Informatics. Area of Teaching: How to designs and develops interactive web-based applications that provide user-specific information for young scientists, investigators, and communities. How to design and develop educational technology tools, primarily using the Web-base application, for effectively recruiting young scientists. How to investigated the effects of using an organizational learning strategy during web-based instructional design.Medical Microbiology

Area of teaching/subject

Medical Microbiology

Publications

  1. Meirelles Richer, L, Aroso, M, Contente-Cuomo, T, Ivanova, L, Gomes-Solecki, M. Reservoir targeted vaccine for lyme borreliosis induces a yearlong, neutralizing antibody response to OspA in white-footed mice. Clin Vaccine Immunol, 18 (11), 1809-16, 2011.
  2. Schwanz, LE, Brisson, D, Gomes-Solecki, M, Ostfeld, RS. Linking disease and community ecology through behavioural indicators: immunochallenge of white-footed mice and its ecological impacts. J Anim Ecol, 80 (1), 204-14, 2011.
  3. del Rio, B, Fuente, JL, Neves, V, Dattwyler, R, Seegers, JF, Gomes-Solecki, M. Platform technology to deliver prophylactic molecules orally: an example using the Class A select agent Yersinia pestis. Vaccine, 28 (41), 6714-22, 2010.
  4. del Rio, B, Seegers, JF, Gomes-Solecki, M. Immune response to Lactobacillus plantarum expressing Borrelia burgdorferi OspA is modulated by the lipid modification of the antigen. PLoS One, 5 (6), e11199, 2010.
  5. Ivanova, L, Christova, I, Neves, V, Aroso, M, Meirelles, L, Brisson, D, Gomes-Solecki, M. Comprehensive seroprofiling of sixteen B. burgdorferi OspC: implications for Lyme disease diagnostics design. Clin Immunol, 132 (3), 393-400, 2009.
  6. del Rio, B, Dattwyler, RJ, Aroso, M, Neves, V, Meirelles, L, Seegers, JF, Gomes-Solecki, M. Oral immunization with recombinant lactobacillus plantarum induces a protective immune response in mice with Lyme disease. Clin Vaccine Immunol, 15 (9), 1429-35, 2008.
  7. Gomes-Solecki, MJ, Meirelles, L, Glass, J, Dattwyler, RJ. Epitope length, genospecies dependency, and serum panel effect in the IR6 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi. Clin Vaccine Immunol, 14 (7), 875-9, 2007.
  8. Gomes-Solecki, MJ, Brisson, DR, Dattwyler, RJ. Oral vaccine that breaks the transmission cycle of the Lyme disease spirochete can be delivered via bait. Vaccine, 24 (20), 4440-9, 2006.
  9. Gomes-Solecki, MJ, Savitt, AG, Rowehl, R, Glass, JD, Bliska, JB, Dattwyler, RJ. LcrV capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of Yersinia pestis from human samples. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol, 12 (2), 339-46, 2005.
  10. Gomes-Solecki, MJ, Wormser, GP, Dattwyler, RJ. IFNgamma production in peripheral blood of early Lyme disease patients to hLFAalphaL (aa326-345). BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 3, 25, 2002.
  11. Gomes-Solecki, MJ, Wormser, GP, Schriefer, M, Neuman, G, Hannafey, L, Glass, JD, Dattwyler, RJ. Recombinant assay for serodiagnosis of Lyme disease regardless of OspA vaccination status. J Clin Microbiol, 40 (1), 193-7, 2002.
  12. Gomes-Solecki, MJ, Wormser, GP, Persing, DH, Berger, BW, Glass, JD, Yang, X, Dattwyler, RJ. A first-tier rapid assay for the serodiagnosis of Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Arch Intern Med, 161 (16), 2015-20, 2001.
  13. Gomes-Solecki, MJ, Dunn, JJ, Luft, BJ, Castillo, J, Dykhuizen, DE, Yang, X, Glass, JD, Dattwyler, RJ. Recombinant chimeric Borrelia proteins for diagnosis of Lyme disease. J Clin Microbiol, 38 (7), 2530-5, 2000.
  14. Dattwyler, RJ, Gomes-Solecki, M. A rapid test for detection of Lyme disease antibodies. Am Clin Lab, 18 (6), 6, 1999.