Joan E Nichols, PhDJoan E Nichols, PhD
Associate Director, Research and Operations, Galveston National Laboratory
Professor, Internal Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology

Phone: (409) 266-6504
Fax: (409) 266-6810

Education: PhD, 1999, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
MA, 1981, State University of New York at Geneseo, New York
BS, 1979, State University of New York at Geneseo, New York

Overview: Viral pathogenesis and influence of aging on host response to pathogens (immunosenescence) and development of human model systems using tissue engineering.

Research Interests

The interest of my laboratory is the etiology and pathogenesis of viral infections caused by RNA viruses. Our research mixes aspects of both virology and immunology in order to assess the impact of virus and/or host factors on the development of clinical disease, generation of the immune response and development of immune memory. To delineate the role of influenza determinants of virulence, we are currently evaluating viral components that influence virulence using natural reassortants of attenuated and wild type viruses as well as manipulation of the virus genome using reverse genetics. We are interested in the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines, expression of cell surface mediators and the processes of cellular signaling on the development of clinical disease. Currently I am developing human respiratory and immune system models using tissue engineering practices to study pathogens such as HIV, SARS, avian-influenza virus and others. These engineered tissue constructs allow us to study human responses to pathogens as replacements for animal models.

Recent Publications

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