PhD, 1972, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Viral Immunology and pathogenesis
The focus of our research is on analyzing basic mechanisms of viral immunology and immunopathology. To do this, we study mouse model infections with a variety of viruses, including lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), vaccinia virus, Pichinde virus, mouse hepatitis virus, herpes simplex virus, polyomavirus, Sindbis virus, and others. Our laboratory has demonstrated that natural killer cells become activated during viral infections and contribute to natural resistance to viruses, though they sometimes can act antagonistically by interfering with anti-viral T cell responses. We identified a receptor on NK cells that enables them to control MCMV infection. We also examine the dynamics of CD8 T cell activation, death by apoptosis, and memory in viral infections. A major area of research defined by our lab is on heterologous immunity, whereby the T and B cell immune response elicited by one virus may alter the pathogenesis of disease initiated by a second unrelated virus. This is sometimes mediated by T cells cross-reactive between unrelated viruses. We have also shown that virus-specific T cells often cross-react with allogeneic tissue, and we are studying the role of those cross-reactive T cells in allograft rejection.