As a postdoctoral trainee at the University of Massachusetts, I conducted work that led to the discovery of an immunoregulatory role of natural killer (NK) cells. This training — along with my interactions with friends suffering from autoimmune disease — fueled my current research interests.
At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, I study viruses and diseases associated with viral infections, vaccines, autoimmune disease, inflammatory disease, innate immunity, immune regulation and cellular immunotherapy.
The goals of my research are three-fold:
- Improve and enable effective new vaccines for human disease
- Understand pathogenesis of infectious, autoimmune and allergic disease
- Develop new therapies capable of promoting sustained disease remission for lupus and other autoimmune conditions
Building on my early NK cell work, our lab has shown that NK cell regulatory activity constrains vaccine-induced immune responses and could be targeted to permit the development of effective vaccines. We have also been working on a cellular immunotherapy, which shows promise for the treatment of autoimmune disease.
I am a standing member of the National Institutes of Health HIV Immunopathogenesis and Vaccine Development Study Section. In 2014, I received the National Institute on Drug Abuse Avante-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS research. I have also received the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust Catalyst Award.