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Catherine A. Blish

Catherine A. Blish
Program
Beckman Young Investigators

Award Year
2012

Institution
Stanford University School of Medicine

Email:
cblish@stanford.edu

Website:
http://med.stanford.edu/profiles/Catherine_Blish/

Research Title:
Novel strategies to develop comprehensive understanding of antiviral NK cell function

Abstract:
Combatting viruses requires the coordinated efforts of innate and adaptive immune systems. While adaptive antiviral responses traditionally receive the most attention, these responses alone may be too little and too late to prevent infections, particularly with viruses like HIV and herpesviruses that rapidly establish a latent pool of infected cells. On the other hand, innate NK cells are "early responders" - cells that can immediately lyse infected cells without the need for prior sensitization.  My preliminary studies indicate that NK cells may contribute to protection from a second HIV strain.  Thus, learning to harness the power of NK cells could unleash new pathways to prevent and control viruses. We therefore aim to unlock mechanisms to improve antiviral immunity by defining the precise role of human NK cells in antiviral responses.

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