MD, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1998
PhD, University of Virginia, 1994
Our laboratory investigates the host immune response to viruses that cause chronic human infections, particularly HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV infects nearly 200 million people worldwide, resulting in chronic infection in about 75% of cases. We examine the role of the immune response in clearance of HCV upon exposure to this virus by studying responses to HCV from the earliest phases of infection through years following infection in a longitudinal, prospective cohort of people at risk of HCV infection. This allows a comparison of the innate, humoral, and cellular immune responses to infection with clearance versus persistence. Our goal in our HCV research is to identify mechanisms of protective immunity against HCV infection and improve prophylactic HCV vaccine design. We are focused on how the immune system can be used to cure HBV infection and how the adaptive immune response regulates innate immune sensing of HIV, HBV, and HCV.
We are also interested in the mechanisms through which chronic viral infections and tumors evade T cell responses through up-regulation of molecules that inhibit T cell function.
Honors and Awards
Sigma Xi Most Outstanding Ph.D. in the Life Sciences Award 1994
Phi Sigma Iota Honor Society
Golden Key National Honor Society
Sigma Xi National Research Honor Society
The Raven Society
Recipient of The Southern Medical Association Scholarship
Recipient, Damon Runyon Foundation Clinical Investigator Award 2006
The Interurban Clinical Club Sir William Osler Young Investigator Award 2009
American Society for Clinical Investigation 2013