Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Verina Atallah Sciences

The Role of Human C1q Binding Protein (C1qBP) in Immune Recognition of Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV)

Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is an important viral cause of disease globally especially in immunocompromised persons. Current medications to treat HCMV infections (Ganciclovir) have a poor safety profile, and risk the potential to select for drug resistance. Antibodies and immune cells confer partial protection against HCMV; however, the contribution of other immune defenses such as the complement system remain poorly understood. In this study, Verina will employ a yeast-two-hybrid screen using an HCMV gene library to identify protein-protein interactions with human C1qBP, a multifunctional intracellular complement protein. Following identification, Verina will characterize protein-protein interactions in the context of how C1qBP functions in the Human immune response to HCMV infection. Identification of such HCMV-complement interactions could potentially inform the development of vaccines and novel drugs.

Major: Integrative Human Biology
Mentor: Mentor: Fenyong Liu, Public Health
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