Dr. David Speert is a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, and Senior Clinician Scientist and Head, Centre for Understanding and Preventing Infection in Children, CFRI Sauder Family Professor, Division of Infectious and Immunological Diseases. Research in Dr. Speert’s laboratory is directed at gaining a clearer understanding of function of the human innate immune system and the control of inflammation in health and disease. Investigations are currently underway to identify host determinants of dysfunctional inflammation. Work in Dr. Speert’s laboratory has focused on the causes of bacterial infections in cystic fibrosis. His work has identified a number of bacterial and host factors which likely conspire to create an environment in the CF lung which favors infection with the bacteria. These studies are ultimately directed at identifying novel strategies to prevent or enhance therapy of such infections.
Dr. Speert has worked in collaboration with colleagues in South Africa where childhood disease is far more common than in North America. His group is studying children born to, but not infected by, HIV-positive mothers. He has established a birth cohort study in Cape Town and is planning a cohort study of older children in Paarl, Western Cape Province to understand the causes for morbidity and mortality in these infants and to determine if they are protected against HIV when exposed later in life.