Dorthea Wheeler

Lab address: 
3-730 BSB
Lab phone: 
  • BS, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Harding University

Uncovering differences between virus-specific primary and secondary effector CD4 T cells

Mice infected with the neuroattenuated rJ2.2 strain of the murine coronavirus, mouse hepatitis virus (MHV), develop acute encephalitis and acute and chronic demyelinating diseases. The pathogenesis of rJ2.2 serves as an animal model for the human disease multiple sclerosis (MS) because animals develop clinical and histopathological changes similar to those seen in patients. The immunopathological consequence of demyelination unveils the delicate balance between pro-inflammatory factors required for viral clearance and anti-inflammatory factors necessary for limiting tissue damage. Virus specific CD4 T cells are critical for viral clearance and play a role in the development of demyelination. My project seeks to understand the differences between virus-specific primary and secondary effector CD4 T cells.


Mielech AM, Deng X, Chen Y, Kindler E, Wheeler DL, Mesecar AD, Thiel V, Perlman S, Baker SC. Murine coronavirus ubiquitin-like domain is important for papain-like protease stability and viral pathogenesis. J Virol. 2015 May;89(9):4907-17. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00338-15. Epub 2015 Feb 18. PubMed PMID:25694594; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4403493.

Book Chapter:

Wheeler DL, and Perlman S. Neurotropic coronavirus infections. Reiss C.S. Neurotropic viral infections. Springer.

Awards, honors, and activities
  • Virology training grant