SURF

Aryan Haratian

Characterization of Immune Response in Repeat Dengue Infections of the Nicaraguan Pediatric Cohort Study Using Dengue Reporter Virus Particles (DENV-GFP 1-4)

Four serotypes of the dengue virus (DENV1-4) circulate globally, causing more human illness than any other mosquito-borne virus. DENV infections can be both asymptomatic and symptomatic, resulting in dengue fever or the more severe and life-threatening forms of the disease, dengue hemorrhagic shock/dengue shock syndrome. DENV infections confer life-long immunity against re-infection with the same serotype; however, they may either protect against or enhance a subsequent infection with a different serotype. An important step in assessing this topic is the determination of the amount of anti-DENV antibodies produced by the immune response to these infections, as well as the degree to which they neutralize each of the four DENV serotypes. My SURF project involves reconstructing the immunological history of children in the Nicaraguan Pediatric Dengue Cohort Study run by Dr. Eva Harris and Nicarguan collaborators (now in its 11th year) by documenting their first, second, and third infections with different DENV serotypes over time, which provides a means to assess potency of neutralization in cases of repeat DENV infection in the same individual. Not only is this novel information for the dengue field, but also essential to improve our understanding of the mechanisms of immune responses against DENV infections

Message to Sponsor

I am extremely honored to be accepted as a fellow and grateful to this program for giving me the opportunity to stay in Berkeley over the summer to expand upon my own intellectual curiosities in the field of immunology and virology. While normally working as a research assistant, through this program and the Rose Hills Foundations support, I am able to be independently in charge of designing and running each portion of my own experiment and in the process gaining invaluable experience in the field clinical research. By completing this program I will strengthen my ability to work on my own project independently from start to finish, and develop skills to present my findings and results effectively to other individuals, skills necessary to continue my research interests in the future.
  • Major: Microbial Biology, Public Health
  • Sponsor: Rose Hills
  • Mentor: Eva Harris, Public Health