Kristie Hilliard


BS – Juniata College, 2010

Quinton Laboratory

I work in Dr. Lee Quinton’s laboratory, which is part of the Pneumonia Biology group.  As a group, we focus on understanding the innate immune signals that perpetuate the balance between clearing microbes and avoiding lung injury.  My project focuses on the role of the lung-liver axis, and the acute phase response (APR) specifically, in host defense during E. coli pneumonia.  We use a novel mouse model in which transcription factors STAT3 and RelA are selectively deleted from hepatocytes to effectively create an APR-null mouse.  By using this mouse model we can better understand what functional role the APR plays in a localized lung infection.