Jason T. Blackard, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine; Division of Digestive Diseases

Description of Research

Using a variety of cell culture, immunologic, and molecular virology techniques, as well as patient-derived samples, Dr. Blackard is investigating the pathogenic and evolutionary mechanisms by which viruses interact with the host and cause disease. Current work in his laboratory involves studies of several hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis E (HEV), and hepatitis G (HGV/GBV-C), as well as HIV. Ongoing research projects include: 1) characterizing the extent of extrahepatic replication of HCV and development of models of HCV replication; 2) HIV replication in hepatocytes and the development of novel in vitro systems of HIV/HCV co-infection; and 3) genotypic and phenotypic characterization of hepatitis viruses, particularly in the context of HIV co-infection.

Collaborations and Core Use

Dr. Blackard collaborates with Drs. Shata and Sherman on a clinical intervention trial in HCV/HIV co-infected subjects treated with antiretroviral therapy. Additionally, he works with Dr. Shata on developing reliable tests to measure cell-mediated immune responses against unique epitopes of multiple hepatitis E virus strains. He also works with Dr. Chougnet to investigate HIV infection of hepatocytes and the effects of HIV on HCV replication in vitro. Projection of Core use: Gene and Protein Expression and Integrative Morphology Cores.