Scott Gordon Laboratory Research Overview

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Current projects in the Scott Gordon Lab include:

The importance of investigating the host response to viral infections cannot be overstated. We use model viral infections that can cause devastating congenital disease (e.g. lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus). For reasons we don’t understand, the same viruses responsible for congenital infections cause only mild disease outside the context of pregnancy. We aim to answer:

  • How is the antiviral response unique at the maternal-fetal interface?
  • Which immune mediators released to control infection can damage the fetus?
  • How do innate immune cells shape the antiviral adaptive immune response?

Traditionally, interleukin 15 (IL-15) acts on killer lymphocytes to support their development, survival, and function. We found macrophages that respond to IL-15, and we wonder why and how they do so. We have developed novel tools to ask:

  • What do novel IL-15-responsive cells have in common with more traditional IL-15-responders like killer lymphocytes?
  • What distinguishes novel IL-15-responders from traditional ones?
  • How can we use this knowledge to our advantage to optimize outcomes of pregnancy?

Primary support for the Scott Gordon Lab's research efforts is through the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.