COVID-19 and Adaptive Immunity
December 2020

We are excited to announce our second COVID-19 publication. This review provides an up-to-date summary of what is known of how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with, and manipulates, the adaptive immune system. This includes a detailed assessment of how SARS-CoV-2 manipulates antibody responses, and how these responses then relate to viral clearance.

This review includes discussion of how these mechanisms may affect the efficacy of vaccines and immunotherapies directed against this virus, and investigates the potential of novel appearances to immune modulation to help support  the adaptive immune system as it fights this potent pathogen.

This review is published in Pathogens.

Rab GTPase Review
September 2020

Much of the research in the Heit lab focuses on the role of Rab GTPases in regulating the activity of immune cells. Rab GTPases are the master controllers of vesicular trafficking – the cellular system which lets “packages” of materials be delivered to specific location in the cell. In this review we go in-depth into the role of Rab GTPases in allowing immune cells to engulf and degrade both pathogens and innocuous cell debris – and how Rab GTPases then allow the immune cell to mount an immune response to to former, but not the latter.

This invited review is published in Histology and Histopathology.

3D Printing Paper Published!
April 29 / 2020

A PDMS Imaging Chamber Cast Using a 3D Printed Mould.

The Heit lab is excited to announce that our newest paper has been accepted for publication in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. This paper presents a method for using fused deposition modelling (3D printing) to produce customized chambers for microscopy-based experiments. This technology allows for scientists to design an imaging chamber that exactly meets the requirements of their experiment while also producing a system optimized for high resolution microscopy.

We have been using this technology extensively in my lab, and have saved literally thousands of dollars in commercial chambers, reduced cell isolation/transfection costs, and reduced reagent usage.

For those without access to Biochemistry and Cell Biology, we have posted the revised version of this paper as a preprint, available over at Biorxiv.

Heit Lab and COVID-19
March 19 / 2020

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Heit lab will be closing effective Friday March 20th 2020 at noon. The IDT biobar will not be active during this time, so if you order IDT products via our biobar, please order via another route.

If you need to Contact Dr. Heit, please do so by email. We do not know at this time when normal lab operations will be restored. The MNI Widefield Microscopy Facility remains operational for as long as Western University permits research to continue. However, we cannot offer maintenance, repair or training during this time.

The Heit lab is now the official UWO portal for IDT orders. What this means is that UWO researchers can now order all IDT products via a new portal ( and receive free shipping and preferred pricing on these products. All products will be delivered to the Heit lab, and you will receive an email once your items arrive. All items can then be picked up from the dropbox outside of Health Sciences Addition room H316. This is a great way to save on all of your DNA and RNA needs.

If you are an existing IDT customer you will need to setup a new account, using the “Set Up New Account” link at the UWO Portal.