The broad focus of my research is the rationalization of vaccine design. My efforts are focused on identifying and targeting key pathogen or host related factors or mechanisms that are critical for protection in the context of the porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC). PRDC provides a fascinating ecological niche at a mucosal surface where multiple viral and bacterial pathogens interact to induce disease. The four central viral pathogens under study are porcine circovirus strain 2 (for which vaccines are effective), swine influenza virus (SIV-vaccines are suboptimal), porcine reproductive and respiratory disease syndrome virus (PRRSV- effective vaccines are not available) and torque teno viruses (which are highly prevalent in coinfections but whose biological significance is unknown). Our current efforts include understanding the immune response to these viruses at the epitope level and deciphering the molecular mechanisms of the immune cross-talk between the viruses and the host. We achieve these objectives using a variety of methods, including recombinant DNA/protein techniques, virological and immunological methods, gene expression analysis, epidemiology, bioinformatics and animal models to test vaccine efficacy and immune responses. The overarching and concurrent goal is to translate the basic research findings into novel and rationally designed vaccines and diagnostics. Virology, Immunology, and Vaccinology.

Past Affiliations

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiological Sciences, College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources, North Dakota State University

Assistant Professor, Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia (past)

Molecular Biology, Agriculture, Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Microbiology, Microbiology
PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences/Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology, 2006
MS, Oklahoma State University, Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, 2002
BVSc, Madras Veterinary College, India, Veterinary Medicine, 1991
immunology bacterial infections viral infections vaccines virology