Despite recognition of the severity and high mortality of neonatal respiratory viral infections, which have been attributed to the immunological immaturity of the newborn, the specific mechanisms for this increased susceptibility remain unclear.
The Carey Lab seeks to identify mechanisms and potential modifiable risk factors for infants' susceptibility to infections using animal models, in vitro work and ex vivo studies on human cord blood. We have established a clinically relevant model of neonatal influenza virus infection in 3-day-old neonatal mice in order to focus on both the adaptive and innate immune response to viral infection. Specifically, we study the evolution of the development of the cytotoxic CD8+ T cell repertoire, which play an important role in eliminating virally infected cells.
Additionally, we investigate the innate immune system and its ability to prime the adaptive immune system during infections. We also study the use of probiotics in boosting the innate immune response to viral infections.
The lab's long-term goals are to develop therapeutic interventions for this extremely vulnerable and currently understudied population.
Carey Lab Members
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Alison Carey was awarded a biomedical research grant from the American Lung Association for her project, "Identification of the Toll-like Receptor Mediating Lactobacillus rhamnosus Protection in Neonatal Mice." Her research was also highlighted on their website.
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