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Kristen M. Ogden

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Assistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology

In order to successfully infect the different tissues and hosts they encounter, viruses must be able to efficiently bind, enter, and replicate in target cells and rapidly adapt to changing environmental pressures.  Research in the Ogden lab is focused on the tropism and diversity mechanisms of segmented, dsRNA viruses in the Reoviridae family, including rotavirus and reovirus.  Rotavirus is an important cause of diarrheal disease that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of infants and young children worldwide each year.  In the Ogden Lab, we are exploring vaccine-elicited antibody recognition of specific outer-capsid antigens and identifying rotavirus species and cell-type tropism determinants.  Reovirus is an oncolytic virus that infects many mammalian species, including humans, but causes disease only in newborn animals. The Ogden Lab uses reovirus to answer fundamental questions about segmented, double-stranded RNA virus structure, virus-cell interactions, and viral diversity.  Themes currently being explored include packaging signals, gene segment reassortment during coinfection, virus transmission in extracellular vesicles, and structural dynamics of the attachment protein during cell entry.  A long-term goal of the lab is to engineer dsRNA viruses to make better vaccines, therapeutics, and research tools.