Infectious Diseases

Infectious Diseases in the 21st CenturyInfectious Diseases photo

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that infectious disease is responsible for 20% of all deaths
worldwide and that this number is likely to be even larger if certain cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory/ digestive deaths, which can also be attributed to infection, are included.  Interestingly, six diseases account for 90% of infectious disease deaths, and include acute respiratory infections (including pneumonia and influenza), AIDS and AIDS-associated disease, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, malaria and measles.

To curb these growing global problems, further elucidation of host-pathogen interactions is absolutely needed to better design therapeutics and vaccines to prevent morbidity and mortality from existing and newly emerging infectious pathogens. Commensurate with this need is the absolute requirement for animal models that parallel and share developmental, physiological and evolutionary relationships with humans, and are susceptible to the same or closely related infectious agents with similar, if not identical, disease sequelae.

Research within the Division of Pathobiology and Immunology is focused on tackling key infectious and chronic diseases that afflict mankind, and include an emphasis on: 

A.   NHP Infectious and Chronic Disease Model and Assay Development
             a.  Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) model
             b.  HBV model
             c.  IBD model

B.   AIDS Pathogenesis, Persistence and Vaccine Development
            a.  RhCMV-SIV vaccine
            b.  Mechanisms of chronic inflammation/immune activation
            c.  Host-pathogen interactions
            d.  HIV cure
            e.  Adjunctive therapeutic interventions

C.  Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Research Program
            a.  RhCMV-Mtb vaccine
            b.  RhCMV-Malaria vaccine

D.  Models of Emerging Infectious Diseases
            a.  Zika virus (ZIKV) model
            b.  Anti-viral drug development
            c.  Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) model