Elucidate Molecular Mechanisms of Successful Viral Replication and Pathogenesis
Our studies begin by probing the cellular mechanisms that determine how (1) hosts regulate innate immunity (2) viral pathogens evade host defenses and (3) host proteins contribute to antiviral and immunological signaling. Specifically, we seek to identify and characterize regulatory mechanisms involved in the induction of interferon-mediated host innate immunity against a wide variety of viruses ranging from Zika virus to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Further, we aim to characterize viral evasion mechanisms responsible for subverting host-mediated antiviral pathways. Finally, we seek to characterize how the host combats infectious diseases through the induction of antiviral and immunological pathways.
Discover Novel Host and Viral Therapeutic Targets
Researching host-virus interactions as detailed above provides a foundation for identifying novel therapeutic targets. Once identified, we test using state-of-the-art technology and facilities how manipulating these potential drug targets during viral infection affects disease outcomes. Our institute houses a Biosafety Level 3 facility where we can study the biology of highly-pathogenic agents, such as Powassan virus , West Nile virus and SARS-CoV-2.
Translate Research from the Laboratory Bench to the Patient Bedside
Our team aims to work with drug developers to streamline translation of scientific discoveries into tangible antivirals, immunotherapies and vaccines for the protection of patient lives.