Evolution of Host/Viral Pathogen Interactions
This research area concerns basic comparative and applied studies of viral pathogenesis and immunity in amphibians caused by Poxvirus-like Ranaviruses such as Frog virus 3 (FV3). Because of the threat of emerging wildlife viral diseases on global biodiversity, fundamental research on comparative viral immunity has become crucial.
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Evolution of Nonclassical MHC Genes and Innate T Cells
We have identified in Xenopus adults and tadpoles a class Ib-restricted semi-invariant T cell (iT) population with many similarities to the mammalian iNKT. While recent data have shown that in mammals these cells appear to play critical roles in host defense against important pathogens including viruses and mycobacteria the full biological significance of these iT cells is still unknown.
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Use of a comparative biology approach in Xenopus to define how postembryonic exposure to endocrine disruptor contaminants impacts immune cell development and weaken antimicrobial immune response later in life: Human population and aquatic vertebrates such as amphibians are increasingly exposed to water contaminated with mixtures of endocrine disruptor chemicals (EDCs) at levels below government regulation.
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