Host responses to mosquito-borne virus infectionDate Added: 4/7/2011 10:32:00 AM
Last Updated: 4/14/2011 11:22:00 AM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
My laboratory studies mosquito-borne RNA viruses from the families Flaviviridae and Togaviridae, many of which are classified as potential agents of biowarfare/bioterrorism and emerging infectious disease by NIH/NIAID and/or CDC because they are highly pathogenic in humans, but typically there are no effective antivirals or licensed vaccines available. Our specific focus is on developing a better understanding of the way in which the early virus-host interaction shapes the outcome of infection. As our understanding of the host-pathogen interaction increases, we believe it will be possible to rationally design antiviral drugs for acute phase therapy and live-attenuated virus strains that can be used as vaccines.
Projects available in the lab include:
1) Characterizing newly-developed murine models for viscerotropic disease caused by yellow fever virus (YFV) and arthritogenic disease caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV)
2) Elucidating molecular mechanisms of YFV and CHIKV virulence and attenuation of the vaccine strains
3) Elucidating effectors of adaptive immunity to YFV infection
Techniques graduate student will learn:
1) Work under Biosafety Level 3 containment
2) Molecular biology techniques: e.g., recombinant DNA cloning, RT-PCR, mutagenesis, in vitro transcription for virus production
3) Virologic techniques: e.g., virus infectivity and neutralization assays, generation of primary cell cultures (e.g., dendritic cells, macrophages and osteoblasts), infection of mice (inbred and genetically-modified to knockout specific components of the immune response.
4) Immunologic techniques: e.g., immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, ELISA immunoassays, flow cytometry and FACS, T cell assays and cytokine profile measurement.
Molecular Virology And Microbiology
Return to list