Epitopes in Influenza Infection

Nikita working in a lab.



Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Project Summary

My project in the Eisenlohr lab focuses on understanding the pieces of proteins from the flu virus, called epitopes, that can activate immune cells called T-cells. Understanding what epitopes can activate T-cells is important for developing more effective vaccines for infectious diseases and for improving treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases. To investigate the sources of these epitopes, we infected a mouse cell line with flu virus. We then used a technique called mass spectrometry to identify different epitopes, including one from a region of the flu genome that is not normally thought to be translated into a protein. Through my project, I have learned more about the intricacies of the immune system and about innovative immunological research techniques. I am excited to continue conducting research in the lab to further understand how these epitopes are presented to the immune system.