- Stanton L. Young Professor of Ophthalmology
- George Lynn Cross Research Professor
- Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
My interests include the ocular immune system and innate and adaptive immune components involved in the control of invasive pathogens including herpes simplex virus type 1. Furthermore, I am interested in the role of lymphangiogenesis in the development of the local adaptive immune response following inflammation/infection of the cornea.
- Ph.D., Microbiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX
- Postdoctoral Training, Physiology & Biophysics, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
The innate and adaptive immune response to microbial pathogens within the cornea is a highly integrated system that involved resident cells as well as leukocytes recruited to the site of inflammation/infection. One area of investigation involves the identification and characterization of innate sensors that detect herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) within the cornea and the subsequent events that transpire in the clearance of the pathogen as well as the ensuing pathology associated with the inflammation. Along these lines, we continue to investigate the contribution of type I interferons in the control of viral replication and spread. Further, we are investigating the viral-encoded proteins and host factors that are critical in the genesis of lymphatic vessels in the cornea following HSV-1 infection. We would like to define signaling pathways necessary for the development of lymphatic vessels in response to HSV-1 as a means to identify candidate molecules to target to suppress neovascularization of the cornea in response to viral infection. Further, analysis of lymphangiogenesis and how such development influences the adaptive immune response within the draining lymph nodes is an ongoing project. Finally, we are characterizing a novel vaccine to determine if the highly efficacious nature of the vaccine has unwarranted effects within the microenvironment of the cornea and what role the site of inoculation plays in the immune response within the anterior segment to challenge.
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