Our research lab is focused on understanding the role of host responses in the pathogenesis of viral infections, with a substantial effort devoted to investigating the impact of neuroinflammation on CNS viral disease and in promoting recovery from brain damage. We use a mouse model of herpes encephalitis to study the impact of specific immune components of the virus-induced inflammation cascade on neurogenesis in the adult brain. We also investigate immune responses to viral infections in farm animals, most notably swine. Using these animal models, we study mechanisms of disease and emergence of novel viruses like swine influenza virus and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv).
Anatomic pathology as it relates to infectious diseases, agriculture, public health and biomedical research
Applied research in dairy population medicine. Areas of emphasis currently include calf health management, mastitis, metabolic disease and Johne's disease.
I have two primary research areas: 1) understanding the mechanisms of plasmid dissemination associated with antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens; and 2) understanding the succession of the microbial communities in the animal gastrointestinal tract related to health and development. I work primarily with multidrug resistance-encoding plasmids of E. coli and Salmonella humans and production animals. The goal of this work is to understand the spread of these plasmids within and between human and animal bacterial populations. I also work closely with the poultry industries to study the bacterial populations inhabiting the gastrointestinal tracts of turkeys and chickens. The goal of this work is to understand the succession of bacterial communities over time, and how the modulation of these communities can be achieved using non-antibiotic alternatives.
My research interests are focused on the virus-host interactions in the replication and pathogenesis of two RNA viral pathogens, arenaviruses and influenza virus, with an ultimate goal of developing novel antiviral therapeutics.
Comparative genomics of Pasteurella multocida and Mannheimia haemolytica
Genetics/molecular biology of cancer - understanding heritable risk traits for common canine tumors Cancer immunology/immunotherapy - understanding mechanisms of immune response to cancer in lab, in clinic, back to lab. Current work specifically studying tumor immunosuppressive barrier Lymphocyte activation - intrinsic negative regulation and its role in maintaining lymphocyte quiescence Cancer pathology/diagnostic medicine - stratification of molecular tumor subtypes that are clinically relevant (prognostic and to guide therapy) Pre-clinical (lab animals and spontaneous tumors of dogs) drug development studies for cancer therapeutics (drugs and biologics). Development of FasL gene-based immunotherapy, ligand targeted toxins, antibodies, genetically modified bacterial vectors, targeted nanoparticles carrying gene therapy, small molecules Nicotine immunotoxicology - role of nicotine in lymphocyte activation and in tumro progression
Molecular mechanisms of infectious disease resistance in swine using relevant viral infection models.
The focus of research in our laboratory is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to allergic diseases -including food allergies and asthma. This reserach involves collaboration with basic, applied and clinical researchers and has translational application for both human and animal health.
I am interested in ecology, evolution, and epidemiology of infectious agents. My group uses a combination of epidemiological, evolutionary, and molecular tools to address - pathogen-host interactions, population genetic structure of microbes, and investigations on molecular mechanisms host adaptation, enhanced transmissibility and virulence.
Understanding transmission of influenza virus and other swine viruses and designing strategies to control and eliminate influenza infections.
Current focus is applied research of production poultry diseases.