Influenza A virus infection can cause a high level of inflammation of the lung tissue, which is a major contributor to severe disease and death. The level of inflammation is controlled by both host and viral factors, including the recently discovered influenza A virus-encoded ribonuclease PA-X. Interestingly, mouse studies have shown that infection with mutant influenza A strains lacking PA-X is more lethal than with a wild type strain, because it causes a higher level of inflammation. This finding indicates that PA-X may have a key role in controlling the balance between beneficial host responses and uncontrolled inflammation. My work in the Gaglia lab focuses on understanding how PA-X selects its RNA targets, using high throughput sequencing as well as classical molecular virology and RNA biology approaches, and on linking the molecular activity of this protein to regulation of the immune response. If we can understand specifically how PA-X modulates the immune response, we could use this information in the future to improve influenza treatments.