Hannah Van Ert
The Maury lab, while with a long history working with many enveloped viruses, has in recent years been focused on Ebola virus (EBOV), and its interactions with the host innate immune system –particularly macrophages and other mononuclear cells. My thesis project will most likely continue some of that work particularly in a project investigating the role of CD40 on macrophages in the context of EBOV infection. As an MSTP student with a clinical interest in obstetrics and gynecology, coupled with the paucity of data surrounding EBOV infection in pregnancy and the maternal immune response, I am interested in integrating the lab’s past work with investigating EBOV in the setting of the placental immune response.
Additionally, I joined the lab amid the COVID-19 pandemic when work in the lab was predominantly focused on SARS-CoV-2 research and have luckily been able to help contribute to a couple of projects. One project has been a collaboration with the DeGowin blood bank evaluating convalescent plasma from recovered COVID-19 patient and determining if commercial ELISA assays are predictive of neutralizing capabilities of the convalescent plasma. Lastly, I have been investigating the role of phosphatidylserine receptors in the TIM and TAM families in the viral of SARS-CoV-2, and have began developing a BSL2 mouse model of COVID-19 using recombinant VSV expressing SARS-Cov-2 glycoprotein for that project.