Research/Areas of Interest:
Several viruses overhaul normal cellular functions in order to reorganize host gene expression. This global reduction of host gene expression has been termed “host shutoff.” Influenza A virus encodes for a host shutoff endoribonuclease, PA-X, that inhibits immune responses and immune-related lung damage during infection. My research focuses on determining the mechanism of action by which PA-X carries out host shutoff in order to better understand how influenza A virus redirects cellular resources to viral gene expression and host immune evasion. I am focusing particularly on the characterization of the biochemical activity of PA-X and on primary cell culture systems of influenza A virus infection.
Advisor: Marta Gaglia, PhD
BS, Biochemistry, Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH