Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a Betaherpesvirus found in significant proportion of the population and the infection is asymptomatic in immunocompetent individuals. However, HCMV infection can lead to detrimental consequences in immune suppressed organ transplant recipients, AIDS patients, and the developing fetus in utero when a woman becomes infected during pregnancy.
My research includes studying the cellular immune response of target leukocytes to cytomegalovirus infection in the fetal-placental unit and also the mechanism of CMV deafness of the developing fetus in utero. I also have a long term interest in the relationship of cancer to viral infections and will investigate the potential link of CMV and other herpesviruses to specific types of cancer.
My work also includes collaborations with Dr. Alistair McGregor (Department of Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology) in the area of novel vaccine intervention strategies and cell specific tropism.