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.
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Alison Carey was awarded a biomedical research grant by the Hartwell Foundation for her project “Targeted Blockade of Toll-like Receptors in Respiratory Viral Infection.” The goal of the project is to determine if use of specific TLR blockade protects neonatal mice during influenza virus infection. The project hopes to determine differences in the TLR profile from pre-term and term peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) infected with influenza virus. Dr. Carey is the principle investor for this project funded through April 2022.
Ogan Kumova was one of five platform presenters to be highlighted in a news article about the College of Medicine's annual day of research, Discovery Day. Read the article.
Alison Carey was quoted in a January 3, 2019, Health story about how long cold and flu germs can live on surfaces like doorknobs and subway poles.
Alison Carey was awarded the early career clinical scientist faculty award. This award is presented to an early or mid-career level faculty member who has already made a significant contribution to the field of biomedical, educational and/or health care research, as evidenced by extramural funding, scholarly productivity and research leadership.
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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