Monday, July 27, 2020
Noon – 1 p.m. CT
Drs. Jia Chen and Danijela Maric will present the results of their Third Coast CFAR pilot projects.
“From a Whole Animal to the Single Cell: temporal and spatial visualization of HIV/SIV infection”
Danijela Maric, PhD is a research assistant professor in the laboratory of Thomas Hope of the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on understanding the early transmission events of HIV in receptive anal intercourse, using a wide repertoire of techniques developed over time for studies in non-human primates. Maric was awarded a pilot project grant from the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research with a goal of developing deep-tissue imaging techniques to aid visualization of early virus dynamics at anorectal mucosa in three-dimensional space. The preliminary data and methodology developed through this pilot project were used as a basis for the submission of a newly funded K12 career development grant, focusing on the impact of HIV infection on cardiovascular health.
“Defining the role of EphA2 and EphA4 in HIV-associated Kaposi’s sarcoma”
Dr. Chen’s long-term research interests are to understand the fundamental mechanisms of infection by pathogens and the treatment of disease caused by these pathogens, with a focus on Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and applications to HIV and herpes viruses. Most recently, she identified EphA2 as an epithelial cell receptor for EBV which provided the basis for her CFAR pilot project. During a fellowship funded by the American Heart Association, she determined that the large groove between domain I and domain II of gH/gL is an essential functional domain for EBV-mediated fusion and provides a suitable target for inhibiting virus fusion and entry. Dr. Chen is a research assistant professor of Microbiology-Immunology in the laboratory of Dr. Richard Longnecker at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.