Sometimes the best thing to do for your research is listen to someone else’s. Dr. Chris Lupfer, assistant professor of biology, and Angeline Rodriguez, a master’s student, recently attended the 36th annual meeting of the American Society for Virology. Not only did they share their research, they learned about virology research around the world.
Rodriguez presented her thesis research on the importance of the immune response during viral and bacterial coinfections. She also discussed a potential new treatment to help prevent the immune system from making pneumonia worse during coinfection.
The immune response was an important topic during this conference. Other scientists presented on herpes simplex virus 1, which causes cold sores, and how it infects the brain but does not typically cause disease in the brain—only in the skin around the lips. They found that the immune response to herpes prevents brain infection by the virus. Actually, the virus wants the immune system to prevent brain infections so the person does not die and can keep spreading the virus with other people.
Though Lupfer didn’t present, he took away some things that he will implement at Missouri State University.
“Rodriguez’s presentation and others constantly get me thinking about the research in my lab and how we can use the immune system and our understanding of infections to design better treatments for disease,” Lupfer said.
Lupfer pointed out that Zika virus was a focus of many presentations. This is important because of the continued outbreaks with the virus, even in the U.S.