Joseph A. Bellanti, MD was recently cited as one of the Giants in Allergy-Immunology in the July, 2016 issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the official journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of allergy-immunology as educator, researcher, clinician and mentor. Dr. Bellanti continues his academic contributions as Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology-Immunology (Emeritus), and Director of the International Center of Interdisciplinary Studies of Immunology (ICISI) in the Department of Microbiology-Immunology at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC.
Dr Bellanti’s investigative efforts have been directed to antimicrobial research, evaluation of new vaccine strategies and developmental immunology. This work resulted in a succession of seminal research contributions including the characterization of the IgM response of the newborn, the identification of the antiviral role of secretory IgA in respiratory secretions and the cellular immune responses to viral infections following immunization or natural infection. Most recently, Dr Bellanti and his colleagues have directed their research efforts to the epigenetic study of the role of methylated DNA in regulation of T-regulatory cell activity. Based on the preliminary results of their in vitro studies, a methylated double-stranded oligonucleotide was found to up-regulate of T-regulatory cell production. Studies are currently in progress to determine whether these in vitro findings can have in vivo application as a vaccine to immunomodulate dysregulated T-regulatory function in the human.
Dr. Bellanti has published over 500 scientific articles and abstracts, as well as numerous textbook chapters and his widely acclaimed textbook in immunology, “Immunology IV: Clinical Applications in Health and Disease”, which was published in 2012 in its 4th edition. The book was recently published in 2016 in a Spanish version. Both are accompanied by online versions with animations, illustrations, interactive study questions and critical thinking aids that can be accessed on the Immunology IV website.