Positions

Associate Professor
Virol & Micro: Ling
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 Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School Of Medicine
PhD from USUHS F. Edward Hebert School Of Medicine
BA from St. Olaf College

Honors & Awards

Graduated Cum Laude
National Research Service Award for individual postdoctoral fellows
Leukemia Society of America Special Fellow Award
Secretary
Certificate of Appreciation
Associate Editor
Member
Chair

Professional Interests

  • Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV)
  • Gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis

Professional Statement

Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) can cause lethal hemorrhagic disease, particularly in juvenile Asian elephants. It is the leading cause of death in juvenile Asian elephants born in North America and is also known to affect Asian elephants in their natural range countries. To address this problem our laboratory, in close partnership with the Houston zoo, has developed a comprehensive “Bench to Barn” research program focusing on 1) diagnostics, 2) treatments, and long-term 3) a vaccine. Progress towards these goals has been made through development of qPCR diagnostic assays, sequencing the EEHV genome, and developing tools to measure and evaluate elephant immune responses towards EEHV. Postdoctoral fellows and students who participate in this research develop skills applicable to research and vaccine development for any viral pathogen that infects humans or animals.

The Ling laboratory also studies the pathogenesis of gammaherpesviruses, a subfamily of herpesviruses that are associated with several malignancies in humans, including endemic Burkitts lymphoma, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Kaposi’s Sarcoma. We use murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68), which naturally infects laboratory mice, as a model system for our studies. We use a variety of genetic, biochemical, and omics approaches to discover and characterize new intrinsic and innate host responses to infection and to identify viral countermeasures to these responses in an effort to understand how these viruses establish long-term chronic infections in their hosts.

Memberships

American Society for Virology
American Society for Microbiology
Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) Advisory Committee