Aron E. Lukacher
|Institution||College of Medicine|
|Department||Microbiology and Immunology|
|Address||500 University Drive, Hershey, PA 17033|
1976-1980 Brandeis University, Waltham, MA
Honors Thesis Mentor: David Freifelder, Ph.D.
1980-1987 M.D., Ph.D., Medical Scientist Training Program,
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO
Predoctoral Mentor: Thomas J. Braciale, M.D., Ph.D.
1987-1989 Dept. Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Resident in Anatomic Pathology
1989-1994 Dept. Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Research Fellow
Postdoctoral Mentor: Thomas L. Benjamin, Ph.D.
A major focus of our group is to understand the host immunological mechanisms needed to contain low-level persistent virus infections. For these studies, we predominantly use the mouse polyomavirus infection model. Our lab has developed state of the art immunological reagents and virological techniques to study T cell responses at different stages of mouse polyomavirus infection. Using these methodologies, we are defining at both cellular and molecular levels the mechanisms that regulate antiviral T cell function and fate. Polyomaviruses ubiquitously infect many vertebrate species, including humans, where they establish clinically silent lifelong infection in healthy hosts. In immunocompromised individuals, these viruses cause life threatening diseases. One of these viruses causes a fatal CNS demyelinating disease, whose incidence is rising in patients receiving immunomodulatory therapies for autoimmune diseases. Polyomaviruses are species specific, and no effective antiviral agents are available. A second major effort in our laboratory is to use mouse polyomavirus to understand the pathogenesis of this CNS disease and use it as a preclinical model to evaluate novel therapeutic compounds.
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