I’m a second year graduate student in Dr. James E. Crowe, Jr.’s lab studying the characterization of human monoclonal antibodies against picornaviruses, such as rhinoviruses and enteroviruses. In the Crowe lab we focus on the humoral response to a variety of infectious diseases, from Ebola to influenza. Picornaviruses, in particular rhinoviruses, are a major cause of respiratory infections, such as the common cold and asthma exacerbations. There are currently no licensed antiviral drugs or vaccines available to aid in the ailments caused by these viruses. Thus, through characterizing human monoclonal antibodies against picornaviruses, identification of novel epitopes can aid in design for potential vaccines.
My clinical mentor is, Dr. Ryszard Dworski, who focuses on asthma and other allergic/immune lung disorders. He focuses on the mechanisms of airway inflammation through inhaled/bronchoscopic allergen challenge studies in human asthmatics in vivo as a model for acute asthma exacerbations. I look forward to shadowing Dr. Ryszard Dworski to further understand these respiratory disorders in the clinic and how picornaviruses are involved.