We use methods in molecular biology, immunology, and structural biology to study host-pathogen interactions, with the goal of informing strategies aimed at treating or preventing infection.
Several enveloped RNA viruses cause human viral hemorrhagic fevers with limited vaccine and treatment options. Infection by the New World arenavirus Junin is reliably treated with neutralizing-antibody containing immune plasma transfusions (‘passive immunity'). Using this approach to treat Ebola virus infection has yielded mixed results. We are dissecting, at the molecular level, features of both the viruses (e.g. surface glycoprotein architecture and epitope accessibility) and hosts (e.g. antibody neutralizing and non-neutralizing effector functions) that may explain how to best adapt passive immunity to treat emerging viral infections. Pathogens we study include arena-, filo-, flavi-, and hantaviruses.
Methods used in the laboratory span many disciplines and include molecular biology, X-crystallography, electron microscopy, human immunology using primary donor samples, pseudotype viral entry assays, and efficacy studies in relevant animal models (through collaborations).
NRB Building, Room 939L
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur
Boston, MA 02115