B.S. Winston-Salem State University (2010)
Ph.D. The Ohio State University (2013)
Post-Doc University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2014)
My research goal is to elucidate how the host intracellular signaling molecules within airway epithelial cells contribute to inflammatory responses during challenge with bacteria/bacterial products.
- Investigating early inflammatory responses to Gram-negative pathogens.
- Determining the role of airway epithelial cells in innate immunology.
- Uncovering signaling mechanisms involved cytokine production.
- Exploring strategies and interventions for increasing STEM retention and persistence.
As a formally trained immunologist, my expertise is in characterizing host innate immune responses to intracellular bacterial pathogens, specifically in what occurs when those mechanisms go awry. While traditional immune cells (monocytes/macrophages) are over-studied as a model in deciphering mechanisms controlling cytokine production, there is a gap in knowledge in how signaling pathways function within airway epithelial cells.
In addition to my scientific background, I have experience in the creation and implementation of initiatives which enhance the training of underrepresented students in STEM. In my former role as IMSD-Director at Duke University, I established programs to promote student development, scientific excellence and diversity in the biomedical sciences at the undergraduate and graduate levels. This effort will continue at Bowie State during my involvement in first-year experiences and support of initiatives which positively aid in underrepresented students’ interest, retention, and success in science.
Awards and Honors
- Duke University 2017 Dean's Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education (BioCoRE Program)- 2017
- Winston Salem State University Top 40 Under 40 Alumni Award- 2017
- AAI Minority Trainee Scientist Travel Award- 2013
- Keystone Symposia Underrepresented Minority Travel Grant Recipient for “Innate Immunity: Sensing the Microbes and Damage Signals” Meeting- 2012
- Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Student Traineeship Grant- 2012
Publications & Patents
Zhao C., Gillette, DD, Li X., Zhang Z., Wen. H., “Nuclear factor E2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) is required for NLRP3 and AIM2 inflammasome activation” Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2015
Gillette, Devyn D., Curry H., Cremer T.J, Ravneburg D., Fatehchand K., Shah P.S., Wewers M.D., Schlesinger L.S., Butchar J.P, Tridandapani S. and Gavrilin M. “Virulent Type A Francisella tularensis actively suppresses cytokine responses in human monocytes” Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2014
Gillette, Devyn D., Tridandapani S., and Butchar, JP. “Monocyte/Macrophage inflammatory response pathways to combat Francisella infections: possible therapeutic targets?” Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2014
Gillette, Devyn D., Prexy A. Shah, Thomas Cremer, Mikhail A. Gavrilin, Beth Y. Besecker, Anasuya Sarkar, Daren L. Knoell, Estelle Cormet-Boyaka, Mark D. Wewers, Jonathan P. Butchar, and Susheela Tridandapani. "Analysis of Human Bronchial Epithelial Cell Pro-inflammatory Response to Burkholderia cenocepacia Infection: Inability to Secrete IL-1β." Journal of Biological Chemistry. 2012
Cremer T.J., Fatehchand K., Shah P.S., Gillette D.D., Patel H., Marsh R.L., Besecker B.Y., Rajaram
M.V.S., Cormet-Boyaka E., Kanneganti T.D., Schlesinger L.S., Butchar J.P., and Tridandapani S. MiR-
155 induction by microbes/microbial ligands requires NF-κB-dependent de novo protein synthesis.
Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology. 2012
Pierce, A., Gillette, D., Jones PG., Escherichia coli cold shock protein CsdA effects an increase in septation and the resultant formation of coccobacilli at low temperature. Arch Microbiology 193:373–384, 201l