My laboratory investigates vector-borne diseases. Studies are directed toward understanding Lyme disease, Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, and West Nile virus. Efforts on Lyme disease include exploring immunity to Borrelia burgdorferi, selective B. burgdorferi gene expression in vivo, and the immunobiology of Lyme arthritis. Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by a newly described pathogen, transmitted by Ixodes scapularis ticks, that persists within neutrophils. We are investigating the molecular strategies that this pathogen uses to survive in polymorphonuclear leukocytes. West Nile virus can cause fatal encephalitis, and we seek to understand the pathogenesis of this emerging disease. Finally, we are also developing molecular approaches to prevent ticks from feeding on a mammalian host, thereby interfering with pathogen transmission.
Years In Practice