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Samantha Lisy

Predoctoral Trainee/Ascano Lab



Our innate immune response is one of the first lines of defense against invading pathogens- yet many pathogens are capable of either evading this response or hijacking it for their own benefits. I seek to understand the underlying post-transcriptional gene regulatory mechanisms at play during the innate immune activation of cells with a specific emphasis on the interplay with RNA viruses (Zika, influenza, dengue, etc.). This is accomplished by utilizing a photoreactive ribonucleoside analog to covalently attach RNA-binding proteins to their cognate targets in living cells- allowing for the identification of both important transcripts and the proteins that bind them for use in downstream functional studies.  The overarching goal is to understand the host-pathogen interactions of viral genomes and the host RNA binding proteins implicated in both promoting and preventing viral infection and replication.