Dr. Torres' immediate career goal is to complete a doctorate in philosophy in Veterinary Pathology at the University of Georgia, while simultaneously making original contributions to his field of study, specifically, pathogenesis of emerging zoonotic pathogens. This training will be the foundation for his long-term career plans to become a biomedical researcher, either in a federal or an academic setting. Dr. Torres has already made considerable preliminary progress through numerous fellowships and now this doctorate program will allow him to fully develop his research skills and complete his training. The overall objective of this proposal is to develop and characterize the guinea pig as an animal model of Nipah virus infection. This Category C biothreat agent poses significant dangers to human and animal populations. Little is known about how the agent causes disease, specifically, what mediators are involved and how the virus orchestrates cell death. In this project, guinea pig tissues from an experimental infection study will be examined using a variety of pathologic techniques to determine: distribution of virus, inflammatory and immune response mediators, and extent of apoptosis. Subsequent to the guinea pig experimentation, and based on the findings in the experimental animals, targeted studies will be done on archived human tissue from the 1998-1999 outbreak of Nipah virus in Malaysia. Didactic coursework and techniques training will occur at the University of Georgia. Development of reagents and probes for targeting guinea pig cytokines and immune mediators will be done at the University of Georgia. Experimental manipulation of infected guinea pig and human tissues will be undertaken at the Centers for Disease Control. We are confident that the quality of both environments and the synergy of the two institutions will provide the depth and breadth of background and training to allow Dr. Torres to develop into an outstanding veterinary pathologist capable of working on high containment zoonotic pathogens.
|Torres-Velez, F J; Shieh, W-J; Rollin, P E et al. (2008) Histopathologic and immunohistochemical characterization of Nipah virus infection in the guinea pig. Vet Pathol 45:576-85|