My laboratory focuses on tick-borne infectious diseases, particularly spotted fever group Rickettsiae, Lyme disease, and Colorado Tick Fever Virus (CTFV). We are interested in the host response in infected endothelial cells, as well as the early innate immunological response to these unique pathogens. We utilize a combination of microscopy, molecular, and cell biological approaches to address questions relating to endothelial cell pathobiology and innate immunity. Our efforts are focused on:
- Identifying the mechanism of cell death induced by Rickettsia and CTFV in human endothelial cells.
- Identifying the mechanisms of rickettsial evasion of autophagy and how CTFV modulates signal transduction pathways.
- Identifying the mechanisms by which CTFV mediates the inflammatory response during endothelial cell infection leading to neuroinvasion.
- Epidemiology of tick-borne infections and the pathogens carried in our local tick population.