The mechanism of viral persistence remains a major unresolved problem and the goal of our lab is to understand how viruses evade or suppress the immune response and persist in vivo. We are using two natural models of viral persistence:
Infection of mice with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus to study the interaction between the virus and the immune system of its natural host and to define conditions that lead to viral clearance or persistence.
Infection of rabbits with Shope papillomavirus allows examination of the immune response during various stages of neoplasia, papilloma development, spontaneous regression, and progression to carcinoma.
Our approach is to combine the disciplines of virology and immunology to attain a better understanding of virus vs. host interaction.