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Rosangela Mezghanni, PhD

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Additional Title:

Rosangela Salerno-Goncalves (Maiden Name)


HSF1, 480

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-3374


(410) 706-2345

Education and Training

Rio de Janeiro Federal University - UNI-RIO, B.Sc., Medical Analysis, 1987           

Paris V University, Laennec Hospital, Laboratory of Oncology and Molecular Virology, Diplome d'Etudes Approfondie (DEA), Microbiology, 1994

Paris V University, Laennec Hospital, Laboratory of Oncology and Molecular Virology, Ph.D., Microbiology and Immunology, 1999

National Agency for AIDS Research (ANRD) Reseach Fellow, Paris V University, Laennec Hospital, Laboratory of Oncology and Molecular Virology, 1992-2000

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development (CVD), 2000-2003


Dr. Mezghanni’s main research interest is in human translational immunology. She conducts immunologic studies that could translate to the treatment of human diseases. Dr. Mezghanni analyzes innate immune response immediately after infection to the development of long-term adaptive immune response. The goal of her research is to understand the cellular controllers of continual immune response that results in successful vaccination.

Research/Clinical Keywords

Human translational immunology, immunity, immunologic studies, translation, immune response, adaptive immune response, cellular control, gastrointestinal infection, gastroenteritis, enteric pathogen, E. coli, Shigella, Salmonella, T cells, 3-D organotypic model.

Highlighted Publications

Complete List of Published Works

Salerno-Goncalves R, Safavie F, Fasano A, Sztein MB. Free and complexed-secretory immunoglobulin A triggers distinct intestinal epithelial responses. Clin Exp Immunol. 2016 Sept;185(3):338-47.

Salerno-Goncalves R, Safavie F, Fasano A, Sztein MB. Development of a multicellular three-dimensional organotypic model of the human intestinal mucosa grown under microgravity. J Vis Exp. 2016 Jul 25;(113).

Booth JS, Salerno-Goncalves R, Blanchard TG, Seema AP, Kader HA, Safta AM, Morningstar LM, Czinn SJ, Greenwald BD, and Sztein MB. Mucosal associated invariant T cells in the human gastric mucosa and blood: Role in helicobacter pylori infection. Front Immunol. 2015 Sept 17;6:466.

Sztein MB, Salerno-Goncalves R, Mcarthur MA. Complex adaptive immunity to enteric fevers in humans: Lessons learned and the path forward. Front Immunol. 2014 Oct 27;5:516.

Booth JS, Toapanta FR, Salerno-Goncalves R, Patil S, Kader H, Safta A, Czinn SJ, Greenwald BD, Sztein MB. Characterization and functional properties of gastric tissue-resident memory T cells from children, adults and the elderly. Front Immunol. 2014 Jun 19; 5:294.

Additional Publication Citations

Salerno-Goncalves R, Rezwanul T, Sztein MB. B cells modulate mucosal associated invariant T cell immune responses. Front Immunol. 2014 Jan 7;4:511.

Salerno-Goncalves R, Fasano A, Sztein MB. Engineering of a multicellular organotypic model of intestinal mucosa. Gastroenterology. 2011 Aug;141(2):18-20.

Research Interests

Gastrointestinal infections occur worldwide with  approximately 700,000 hospitalizations per year in the United States. Enteric pathogens include viruses and bacteria such as toxigenic E. coli, Shigella, and Salmonella. Preventing or treating gastroenteritis drastically reduces hospitalizations and the burden of medical costs. The prevalence of antimicrobial-associated diarrhea and the increase of antibiotic resistance highlight the importance of alternatives to antibiotic strategies for treatment. Thus, there has been an increased emphasis on control measures, such as improved sanitation, food hygiene, and vaccination. Dr. Mezghanni’s primary research focus is on innate-like T cells, with studies to evaluate the activation and expansion of different subpopulations of innate-like T cells before and after vaccination against Salmonella Typhi.

Dr. Mezghanni also conducts research to understand the early gut mucosal events following S. Typhi infection. Her laboratory has developed a patented, innovative, multicellular in vitro three-dimensional (3-D) model of the human intestinal mucosa in lieu of animal models might not fully recapitulate human immunity and restrictive human studies. The multicellular 3-D model is unique and has characteristics with close structural and functional resemblance to the human intestinal mucosa. In this 3-D model, the epithelial cells behave as a multipotent progenitor cell that gives rise to functional and highly differentiated cells from multiple lineages (i.e., absorptive enterocyte, goblet, and M cells). Through this 3-D organotypic model, Dr. Mezghanni studies the interactions between epithelial cells and intestinal pathogens, antigen trafficking, and inflammatory processes.

Lab Techniques and Equipment

Dr. Mezghanni uses a broad range of contemporary and emerging technologies in immunology and vaccine design and analysis in laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment. Studies use of conventional flow cytometry, mass cytometer (CyTOF and Helios), and bioengineering tissue culture, as well as classical immunological tools such as immunochemistry, immunoblotting, ELISA, and ELISPOT.


US patent 9,200,258: Multicellular Organotypic Model of Intestinal Mucosa, 2015.

  • Inventors: Rosangela Mezghanni, Alessio Fasano, and Marcelo B Sztein