Miles Mellott

Assaying Protein-Protein Interaction of HCMV and the Human Immune Complement System

The complement system is a function of the innate immune system a group of proteins in the blood that target, mark, and destroy potential pathogens, as well as modulating the response of immune cells. Most viruses must interfere with its activity in order to infect someone, but the mechanism of interactions remains largely uncharacterized. My project seeks to specifically identify and characterize the interactions of Human Cytomegalovirus proteins with the complement protein MBL1 (Mannose-Binding Lectin) by use of a yeast-two-hybrid protein interaction assay. This assay can determine if a given two proteins physically interact, which provides further clues into how HCMV may evade or modulate the host immune response to evade detection. Understanding the techniques by which pathogens evade the host immune system can provide clues to treatment options, as well as how to better predict the targets of other pathogens.

Message to Sponsor

Without the Pergo Fund I might never have had the chance to continue with my research, and I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity. Even in all the confusion of the pandemic, being able to participate with SURF and try and contribute to scientific knowledge brought me great peace of mind.
  • Major: Molecular and Cellular Biology - Immunology and Pathogenesis
  • Sponsor: Pergo Fund