Tarin Bigley, MD, PhD
We study how viruses disrupt the immune system and contribute to autoimmune disease. Millions of people suffer from autoimmunity and the prevalence continues to rise. For most autoimmune diseases, the cause is unknown but viral infections are suspected to play a role. Despite this link, there is limited data demonstrating a direct causal role for viral infections in autoimmune disease. We have found that neonatal infection with roseolovirus induces autoimmunity by disrupting the processes that normally limit the development of autoreactive T and B cells. Our initial studies suggest that this occurs due to infection of the thymus.
Megan Cooper, MD, PhD
The Cooper is focused on mechanisms of immune cell control, including regulation of natural killer cell activation and molecular mechanisms driving pediatric immune-mediated disease.
Anthony R. French, MD, PhD
Our research focuses on the interface between the host innate immune system and large double-stranded DNA viruses and how interactions at this interface may influence the initiation of inappropriate autoimmune responses in rheumatic diseases. We are particularly interested in natural killer (NK) cells, innate lymphocytes that play a critical role in early anti-pathogen host defense…