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Lankenau Institute for Medical Research scientist releases new text on Rickettsiales

Lankenau Medical Center January 13, 2017 Research News

Sunil Thomas, PhD, a research assistant professor who specializes in immunology at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR), released in January Rickettsiales: Biology, Molecular Biology, Epidemiology, and Vaccine Development (Springer), the first comprehensive book that covers every genera of the order Rickettsiales, small proteobacteria that are known to cause diseases in humans and animals.

Insect-transmitted Rickettsiales diseases are significant sources of morbidity and mortality around the world. Their incidence has been increasing in recent years in large part due to climate change and the movement of animals carrying the insect vectors. Currently there are no effective vaccines against diseases caused by members of the order Rickettsiales. Moreover, Rickettsiales diseases are often misdiagnosed.

“The book is intended to serve as a tool for students, researchers, professors and health care practitioners seeking to understand and diagnose diseases caused by Rickettsiales,” noted Dr. Thomas, who specializes in translational research, which applies findings from basic science into medical practice.

Chapters in the book have been contributed by leading scientists and professors in Rickettsiology and cover the seven main genera: Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Midichloria, Neorickettsia, Orientia, Rickettsia and Wolbachia. Discussion of each genus includes immunology and molecular biology of host-pathogen interactions, epidemiology and diagnosis, and vaccination strategies and therapies.

During his career in immunology, Dr. Thomas has developed numerous therapeutic and diagnostic techniques and has been awarded several patents for his ground-breaking work. He is also the editor of Vaccine Design: Methods and Protocols (Springer), a two-volume textbook on vaccines.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a not-for-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. Main Line Health’s commitment—to deliver advanced medicine to treat and cure disease while also playing an important role in prevention and disease management as well as training physicians and other health care providers—reflects our intent to keep our community and ourselves well ahead. A team of more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians care for patients throughout the Main Line Health system.

At Main Line Health’s core are four of the region’s most respected acute care hospitals—Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital—as well as one of the nation’s recognized facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation Hospital.

The Main Line Health system also includes Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice, which includes skilled home health care, hospice and home infusion services; Main Line Health Centers, primary and specialty care, lab and radiology, and other outpatient services located in Broomall, Collegeville, Concordville, Exton and Newtown Square; Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, a biomedical research organization; and Main Line HealthCare, one of the region’s largest multispecialty physician networks.

Main Line Health is the recipient of numerous awards for quality care and service, including System Magnet® designation, the nation’s highest distinction for nursing excellence, the Mid-Atlantic Alliance for Performance Excellence (MAAPE) Excellence Award, and recognition as among the nation’s best employers by Forbes magazine. Main Line Health is committed to creating an environment of diversity, respect and inclusion and has proudly embraced the American Hospital Association’s #123forEquity Pledge to Act to eliminate disparities in care. We are dedicated to advancing patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

About Lankenau Institute for Medical Research

Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is a nonprofit biomedical research institute located on the campus of Lankenau Medical Center and is part of Main Line Health. Founded in 1927, LIMR’s mission is to improve human health and well-being. Faculty and staff are devoted to advancing innovative new approaches to formidable medical challenges, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as diabetes and arthritis. LIMR’s principal investigators conduct basic, preclinical and translational research, using their findings to explore ways to improve disease detection, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. They are committed to extending the boundaries of human health through technology transfer and training of the next generation of scientists and physicians.


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