Current Status: M4
Graduate Department: Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis
Other Degrees: BA in Russian Language and Literature, University of Washington; BS in Biochemistry, University of Washington;
Advisor(s): Edward Mocarski, PhD;
Hometown: Seattle, WA
My work involves the identification and characterization of novel virulence determinants in both the host and virus for the beta-herpesvirus cytomegalovirus (CMV) using the murine model of CMV. Determinants of virulence for CMVs remain poorly understood. By utilizing two different strains of murine CMV (MCMV) with different virulence characteristics we hope to identify novel factors, both from the host and virus that contribute to virulence. MCMV infection can lead to a lethal hepatitis. From work in immunocompromised animals and depletion studies in immunocompetent animals, it appears that the T cell response helps mediate MCMV lethality. Additional studies will determine the immunologic mechanism underlying hepatitis and the elucidation of novel viral gene products inducing this pathologic immune response. This knowledge will facilitate a better understanding of the mechanism of CMV disease which, in turn, has the potential to lead to better rationally designed antivirals and vaccines.
Leadership in MD/PhD Program: Class Representative