Mark Slifka and his colleagues are investigating the underlying mechanisms of humoral and cell-mediated immunity against acute and chronic viral infections. This work has included developing several models of viral infection and/or vaccination in order to address basic immunological questions related to the development and maintenance of long-term protective immunity. We have also developed a series of clinical studies in which we study immunological memory directly in human subjects. During the course of this work, we study a number of viruses including arenaviruses (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, LCMV), alphaviruses (chikungunya virus), flaviviruses (West Nile virus, yellow fever, and dengue), and orthopoxviruses (vaccinia, cowpox, and monkeypox). Several of these viruses cause encephalitis or meningitis (e.g., LCMV, West Nile Virus, and vaccine strains of yellow fever virus) and one of our goals is to develop better vaccines against encephalitic viruses. The combination of basic research in animal models and applied research in clinical studies involving both healthy and immunocompromised populations has provided the opportunity to better define the requirements for immunological memory and to learn how to develop more effective diagnostics and vaccine candidates.
These experiments lay the foundation for future studies in which Slifka and team members will develop new antiviral vaccines and determine the mechanisms involved with building strong vaccine-induced immunity. For instance, these scientists have recently discovered a new hydrogen peroxide-based approach to vaccine production that results in a safer, more effective vaccine preparation that can be used to create better human and animal vaccines.
Slifka, Mark, PhD
The lab has four strains: 1, 2, 3, and 4
Kunjin strain (BSL-2)
NY99 strain (new york 99 strain ) (BSL-3)
The lab has vaccine strains (BSL-2) and clinical strains (BSL-3). Subtypes: 17d, 17dd and FNV.