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Catharine (Katy) Bosio, Ph.D.

Photo of Catharine (Katy) Bosio 

Chief, Immunity to Pulmonary Pathogens Section
Laboratory of Bacteriology

Major Areas of Research

  • Innate immunity to Francisella tularensis
  • Vaccine development for pneumonic tularemia
  • Modulation of human cells by F. tularensis

Program Description


Francisella and the lung. Credit: NIAID


The focus of our research is to gain a better understanding of how aerosolized pathogens successfully infect and modulate the pulmonary environment to cause overt disease and death. Currently, our principal interest is the pathogenesis of aerosolized F. tularensis, the causative agent of pneumonic tularemia.

There are two primary areas of research ongoing in our laboratory: innate immunity to F. tularensis, and modulation of human cells by F. tularensis. We are particularly interested in modulation of primary antigen-presenting cells (dendritic cells and macrophages) by F. tularensis and how this modulation allows the bacterium to initially evade host immune responses immediately following infection. We utilize both in vivo and in vitro models of disease to reveal specific mechanisms at play in both host and pathogen to gain a better understanding of the dynamic nature of this disease.

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Dr. Bosio graduated from Washington State University cum laude with a B.Sc. in 1993. Following completion of her Ph.D. at Colorado State University in 1998, Dr. Bosio completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Food and Drug Administration Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research and at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases, studying innate immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, F. tularensis, Marburg virus, and Ebola virus. Prior to joining NIAID in 2007, Dr. Bosio was an assistant professor at Colorado State University in the department of microbiology, immunology, and pathology. Dr. Bosio’s laboratory studies the host response to pulmonary pathogens, with special emphasis on virulent F. tularensis and dendritic cells, macrophages, and monocytes.

Research Group

Immunity to Pulmonary Pathogens Section group members
Lab group members left to right: Jennifer Chase, Amanda Griffin, Robin Ireland, Katy Bosio, Rebecca Anderson, Debbie Crane, Tim Bauler

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Selected Publications

Bauler TJ, Chase JC, Bosio CM. IFN-beta mediates suppression of IL-12p40 in human dendritic cells following infection with virulent Francisella tularensis. J Immunol. 2011 Aug 15;187(4):1845-55.

Ireland R, Olivares-Zavaleta N, Warawa JM, Gherardini FC, Jarrett C, Hinnebusch BJ, Belisle JT, Fairman J, Bosio CM. Effective, broad spectrum control of virulent bacterial infections using cationic DNA liposome complexes combined with bacterial antigens. PLoS Pathog. 2010 May 27;6(5):e10000921.

Chase JC, Bosio CM. The presence of CD14 overcomes evasion of innate immune responses by virulent Francisella tularensis in human dendritic cells in vitro and pulmonary cells in vivo. Infect Immun. 2010 Jan;78(1):154-67.

Crane DD, Warner SL, Bosio CM. A novel role for plasmin-mediated degradation of opsonizing antibody in the evasion of host immunity by virulent, but not attenuated, Francisella tularensis. J Immunol. 2009 Oct 1;183(7):4593-600.

Chase JC, Celli J, Bosio CM. Direct and indirect impairment of human dendritic cell function by virulent Francisella tularensis SchuS4. Infect Immun. 2009 Jan;77(1):180-95.

Bosio CM, Bielfeldt-Ohmann H, Belisle JT. Active suppression of the pulmonary immune response by Francisella tularensis Schu4. J Immunol. 2007 Apr 1;178(7):4538-47.

View a complete listing in PubMed.

Last Updated July 01, 2015