Positions

Assistant Professor
Virology & Microbiology
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX, US
Member
Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States

Education

Post-doctoral Training from Baylor College Of Medicine
Viroporins, Rotavirus
Ph.D. from Baylor College Of Medicine
BA from Augustana College
Biology, Philosophy, Biochemistry

Honors & Awards

1st Place Predoctoral Poster Presentation
1st place Post-doctoral Oral Presentation
1st place Post-doctoral Oral Presentation
1st place Post-doctoral Oral Presentation
Keynote Speaker for the "Celebration of Learning" Symposium
mBio paper “Rotavirus disrupts calcium homeostasis by NSP4 viroporin activity” was chosen as 2010 “Editors’ Pick”
2nd place Post-doctoral Poster Presentation
Awarded a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholarship to attend the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Ion Channels & Synaptic Transmission course
mBio paper “Rotavirus disrupts calcium homeostasis by NSP4 viroporin activity” was chosen as 2010 “Hot Paper” by a postdoctoral fellow

Professional Interests

  • Enteric Virus Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Exploitation of Host Calcium Signaling Pathways by Microbes
  • Characterization of Viral Ion Channels (Viroporins)
  • Engineering of human intestinal enteroids

Selected Publications

Memberships

American Society for Virology
American Society for Microbiology
American Physiology Society
American Gastroenterological Association

Funding

Regulation of Enteric Virus Secretory Diarrhea
- #R03 DK110270
Grant funding from NIH-NIDDK
Enteric Virus Calcium Channel Blockers
NIDDK
Career Development Award (K01)
Calcium-induced autophagy by HIV-1 Vpu viroporin activity
Grant funding from Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research
Autophagy is a cellular recycling system induced by HIV-1 through an unknown mechanism that facilitates virus replication. We propose autophagy is induced through elevation of cytoplasmic calcium triggered by Vpu viroporin-mediated release of ER calcium. We will determine how HIV induces autophagy and the role Vpu plays in calcium homeostasis.
Enteric Virus Calcium Channel Inhibitors
Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center
Calcium Gated Viral Calcium Channels
Texas Medical Center Digestive Diseases Center
Liposome Dye-release Viroporin Inhibitor Screen
American Society for Microbiology
Heatley-Payne Exchange Program for Early Career Scientists. This program funded travel to the University of Leeds, UK to work with Dr. Stephen Griffin. Together we developed his viroporin dye release assay to screen for NSP4 viroporin inhibitor drugs
Liposome Dye-release Viroporin Inhibitor Screen
Jack Carter Technology Catalyst Fund
Research Training in Pediatric Gastroenterology
- #T32 DK007664
NIDDK
Postdoctoral training grant (2 years of support)
Research Training Program in Molecular Virology
- #T32 AI07471
NIAID
Postdoctoral training grant (1 year of support)
Enterocyte Calcium Channels in Rotavirus-mediated Activation of Chloride Secretion
Grant funding from American Gastroenterological Association
Diarrheal diseases are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality, particularly among children under five years old in developing countries. Secretory diarrhea due to enteric virus or bacterial infections is caused by increased cyclic nucleotide or calcium signaling that causes chloride secretion by enterocytes. While the molecular mechanisms underlying cyclic nucleotide signaling have been determined using bacterial toxins, such as cholera toxin, much less is known about the mechanisms underlying calcium-induced chloride secretion in the intestine. Rotavirus is an enteric virus that exploits calcium signaling to cause diarrhea and remains a significant public health threat in developing countries. This AGA pilot award supports new research to identify the calcium channels and calcium signaling pathways responsible for activating chloride secretion from rotavirus-infected cells. By mapping the calcium signaling pathways that underlie rotavirus diarrhea, we gain insight into how better to treat infectious diarrhea diseases and potentially develop new therapeutics for next generation anti-diarrheal drugs.