Neurogenesis and Virus Evolution as a Function of Host Response to Infection


Neurogenesis and Virus Evolution as a Function of Host Response to Infection

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 researchers also investigate the role of immune mediators in driving viral mutations during influenza virus infection in a swine and viral determinants that host responses. These experiments use tools and resources available at MSI to perform viral nucleic acid sequence analysis and analyze the viral proteome responsible for T cell recognition of swine influenza virus as a means to identify distinct viral mutation patterns observed under selective immune pressure generated during infection.

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