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2017 SRE Project

Modeling the Immune System Battleground in Host-Virus Conflict

Dr. Colleen Jonsson, NIMBioS; Professor, Microbiology, Univ. of Tennessee
Dr. Fan Bai, Postdoctoral Fellow, Mathematics & Statistics, Texas Tech Univ.
Dr. Christina Edholm, Postdoctoral Fellow, Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee

Participants: Alison Adams (Univ. of Georgia Athens); Quiyana Murphy (Univ. of Kentucky); Owen Dougherty (Univ. of Tennessee)

Credit: fs-phil

Why do certain mammalian species become ill following infection with virus while others do not? How can certain species of mammals harbor and maintain viruses over their life time without any signs of disease? There are numerous examples of the dual nature of viruses, particularly, zoonotic viruses. Zoonotic viruses such as Ebola viruses, SARS coronaviruses, and hantaviruses exist in nature in bat or rodent hosts and only when they accidentally spill over to humans do they cause disease. In general, scientists hypothesize that the disease is caused by an inability to control infection. The immune response plays a vital role in controlling infection within individual hosts. Modeling how viruses control infection in their natural host and those in which they cause disease provides a framework for the discovery of how viruses interact with their hosts and potential new targets for therapeutic intervention.

Project group (from L): Quiyana Murphy, Christina Edholm, Fan Bai, Owen Dougherty, Alison Adams, Colleen Jonsson

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From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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