Stanifer, Megan
Assistant Professor

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Megan staniferUnraveling virus/host interactions using primary cell models

Since 2003 I have been working on how viruses try to evade sensing by the host and the mechanisms that the host uses to stop virus infection. For these studies I have used a diverse range of BSL-2 and BSL-3 viruses and have developed microscopy methods to visualize virus entry, and fusion, used single cell sequencing to unravel cell type specific responses to virus infection and implemented human mini-gut organoids to use models which more closely represent the natural infection. My current research program continues to use these techniques and focuses on virus infection at mucosal surfaces. Our primary aims are

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To establish complex in vitro organoid models from multiple mucosal surfaces (e.g. lung, gut, kidney and female genital tract) using primary human cells to mimic the host cellular environment

To use live-cell microscopy to track virus infection and spreading within complex tissues.

To exploit fluorescent cellular reporters to follow how host cells upregulate their antiviral pathways to combat pathogen infection.

To unravel how type III interferons exert their antiviral functions in respiratory and intestinal surfaces

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Assistant Professor, Dept of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida College of Medicine

Research Fellow, Department of Molecular Virology, Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany

Post-doctoral fellow, Dept. Microbiology and Immunology, Harvard Medical School

PhD, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Brown University

B.S., Major: Chemistry, Minor: Biology, Boston University