Stephanie D’Souza

MD/PhD in Microbiology

Kepler Lab

BS in Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

I’m interested in host-pathogen interactions in infectious diseases, especially emerging and neglected diseases. As part of my thesis work, I’m working to assemble genomic tools for studying the immune system of the Egyptian fruit bat, the reservoir host for Marburg virus. Marburg virus is a negative-sense enveloped RNA virus that causes Marburg virus disease, a severe systemic disease with high viral loads and high case-fatality rates. Bats that are infected with Marburg virus have little to no identifiable pathology, but it is not known what allows this bat to be productively infected without getting sick. Our first step is putting together a high quality annotated reference genome for this bat—which will serve as a foundation for the investigation of the bat viral immune response.