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Mary
Poss
Emeritus Professor of Biology
Mary Poss
Biography

Research Interests

Viruses as Rapidly Evolving Markers of Host Population Dynamics
We use rapidly evolving virus genes as markers to study recent changes in host population demographics. This approach has application to species conservation and to the ecology of infections in natural host populations.

Emerging Virus Infections
Newly recognized diseases in humans and animals often arise from infections with viruses that naturally reside in a different host species. We use experimental systems and computational methods to determine how viruses respond to new host environments.

Viruses and Innate Immunity
We are using an in vitro system to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of cell-specific innate responses to primary infection by acute respiratory viruses and consequences to establishment and spread of a secondary virus. We use an in vivo system to integrate temporal changes in host innate responses and virus genomes in systemic lentivirus infections.

Pathogen Interactions
Simultaneous infection with multiple parasites is a common phenomenon; however, the effect of coinfecting species on the course of infection for either parasite is often not investigated. We are studying the molecular mechanisms of disease attenuation that occur during coinfection with virulent and apathogenic distantly related feline lentiviruses.