University of Calgary

Constance Finney

  • Assistant Professor
  • Integrative Cell Biology

Research Interests

My research focuses on improving our understanding of how the immune system copes with multiple infections at the same time. Known as co-infection, it is the norm in humans, domestic livestock and wildlife. Despite this, we know very little about how the immune system functions in this context. 
The effects of co-infection on human/animal health are negative. Our ability to prevent, detect and treat specific diseases is impaired in humans/animals which are also infected with another parasite. Timely research is therefore required to: 

  1. Determine how underlying chronic infections affect immune responses to new infections. 
  2. Assess how diagnosis/prevention/treatment of diseases is affected by these changes in immunity.
  3. Determine what we can do to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases in the context of co-infection.

Current projects involve studying:

  1. The impact of the Heligmosomoides polygyrus worm infections on innate immune responses to the single celled intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
  2. The impact of HIV on cancer-causing HPV infections.


  • CIHR-CTN/CANFAR Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2011-2012.
  • CIHR-CTN/OHTN Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2009-2011
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2008-2009

Selected Publications

  • Google Scholar link

  • Constance A. M. Finney , Shaden Kamhawi, James D. Wasmuth. 2015. Does the Arthropod Microbiota Impact the Establishment of Vector-Borne Diseases in Mammalian Hosts? PLOS Pathogens DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004646
  • Finney, C. A. M., Ayi, K., Wasmuth, J. D., Sheth, P., Kaul, R., Loutfy, M., Kain, K. & Serghides, L. HIV interferes with malaria-induced increases in TIM-3+ innate immune cell. Journal of AIDS. 2013. [Epub ahead of print].

  • Finney, C. A. M., Ayi, K., Wasmuth, J. D., Sheth, P., Kaul, R., Loutfy, M., Kain, K. & Serghides, L. The impact of chronic HIV infection and its treatment with cART on the host innate immune response to malaria. AIDS. 2013. 27(3):325-35.

  • Finney, C. A. M., Hawkes, C., Musoke, C.,Dhabangi, A., Cserti, C., Oravecz, T., Liles, W. C. & Kain, K. S1P is associated with protection in human and experimental cerebral malaria. Molecular Medicine. 2011. 17(7-8):717-25. 

  • Hawkes, M., Li, X., Crockett, M., Diassiti, A., Finney, C., Min-Oo, G., Liles, W., Liu, J., and Kain, K., CD36 deficiency attenuates experimental mycobacterial infection. BMC Infectious Disease. 2010. 10(1):299. 

  • Grainger, J., Smith, K., Hewitson, J., McSorley, H., Harcus, Y., Filbey, K., Finney, C. A. M., Greenwood, E., Knox, D., Wilson, M., Belkaid, Y., Rudensky, A., and Maizels, R. Helminth secretions induce de novo T cell Foxp3+ expression and regulatory function through the TGF-β pathway. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 2010. 207(11):2331-41. 

  • Finney, C. A. M., Lu, Z., Erdman, L., Hawkes, M., Liles, W. & Kain, K. A Critical Role for IRAK-4 in Mediating Divergent Outcomes in Experimental Models of Severe Malaria. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2010. 83(1):69-74. 

  • Finney, C. A. M., Lu, Z., LeBourhis, L., Philpott, D. & Kain, K. Disruption of Nod-like receptors alters inflammatory response to infection but does not confer protection in experimental cerebral malaria. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 2009.80(5):718-22. 

  • Conroy, A., Serghides, L., Finney, C., Owino, S. O., Kumar, S., Gowda, D., Liles, W., Moore, J., Kain, K. C5a enhances dysregulated inflammatory and angiogenic responses to malaria in vitro: potential implications for placental malaria. PLoS One. 2009.4(3):e4953. 

  • Erdman L., Finney C. A. M. (joint first), Liles W. & Kain K. Inflammatory pathways in malaria infection: TLRs share the stage with other components of innate immunity. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. 2008.162(2):105-11. (Invited Review).

  • Finney, C. A. M., Liles, W., Kain, K. Severe Malaria and Host Response: Time for a Paradigm Shift in Therapeutic Strategies to Improve Clinical Outcome. Drug Discovery Today Disease Mechanisms. 2008.4(4):207-214. (Invited Review) 

  • Finney, C. A. M., Taylor, M., Wilson, M., Maizels, R. Expansion and Activation of CD4+CD25+ Regulatory T cells in Heligmosomoides polygyrus infection. European Journal of Immunology. 2007.12;37(7):1874-1886. (Cover article) 

  • Wilson, M., Taylor, M., Balic, A., Finney, C. A. M., Lamb, J., Maizels, R. Suppression of Allergic Airway Inflammation by Helminth-Induced Regulatory T Cells. 2005. Journal of Experimental Medicine;202(9):1199-212. (Cover article)



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