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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Population Medicine

PI: Maxim C.J. Cheeran

Neurogenesis and Virus Evolution in the Host

The Cheeran laboratory investigates the impact of host immune responses on neurogenesis and virus evolution in infected hosts. They use murine models of herpes virus encephalitis to study interactions between neural stem cells (NSC) and activated immune cells during HSV-1 brain infection, which potentially alters the fate of neural progenitors and culminates in neurological damage manifested by behavioral deficits. Their investigation of NSC functions during viral encephalitis utilizes in situ detection techniques to analyze NSC proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Image analysis is a major analytical tool used to help identify how specific cellular interactions in the brain during viral encephalitis influence neurogenesis. Furthermore, analysis of gene expression (protein and RNA) during the various phases of infection will help identify factors that potentially alter the tissue microenvironment and alter neurogenesis. This research uses resources and tools available at MSI such as Ingenuity Pathway analysis, Metamorph, and other image and gene expression analysis software.

The research also includes investigations of the role of immune mediators in driving viral mutations during influenza virus infection in a swine. This involves viral nucleic acid sequence analysis and identification of distinct viral mutation patterns observed under selective immune pressures using tools and resources available at MSI.

Group Members

K. Yeon Choi, Research Associate
Jessica Rotschafer, Graduate Student