Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
BS – The Ohio State University, 2008
My research interests involve immunology, inflammation, and infectious disease. My thesis research focuses on pulmonary immunology and pneumococcal pneumonia. Traditionally, emphasis in pneumococcal pneumonia research has been on innate immune responses in naïve lungs and on adaptive immunity mediated by serotype-specific anti-capsular antibodies. Due to the ubiquity of respiratory tract exposures to pneumococcus and the diversity of pneumococcal serotypes, the majority of immune responses to pneumococcus in the human adult lung are likely influenced by serotype-independent heterotypic immunity. Such naturally acquired heterotypic immunity against pneumococcus fails to be modeled in animal studies of lung infection. We have developed a unique mouse model in which to carry out our studies and hope to contribute information that could possibly help guide future strategies for vaccine development.