Viruses have evolved to hijack cellular processes to facilitate their replication and spread, while evading host defense mechanisms. The overarching goal of our laboratory is to identify and characterize key regulators of viral pathogenesis and immunity, providing new therapeutic targets for enhancing host defense and limiting pathologic inflammation. We use advanced genetic approaches to identify critical host-pathogen interactions that impact viral disease. We have made discoveries in the pathogenesis of medically important pathogens such as Ebola virus, dengue virus and rhinovirus. We found a key host receptor for a virus with tremendous potential for clinical gene therapy, and identified central regulators for innate immune pathways including interferon signaling and necroptosis. Our contributions have wide-reaching impacts as the identified cellular genes and molecular mechanisms are likely to provide targets for therapeutic interventions, in addition to fundamentally advancing the fields of viral infection, gene therapy, immunity, and cell biology.

Awards and Achievements

  • BWF Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease