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The Williams laboratory studies the immunology and pathogenesis of human metapneumovirus (HMPV) and other respiratory viruses. HMPV, a paramyxovirus discovered in 2001, is a leading cause of acute lower respiratory illness in infants, children, the elderly, and persons with underlying medical conditions. There are no licensed antivirals or vaccines for HMPV and little is known about protective immunity and viral pathogenesis. We have developed animal models for HMPV, purified prototype viral strains, generated recombinant viral proteins and identified a cellular receptor. Our group discovered that HMPV and other respiratory viruses lead to pulmonary CD8+ T cell impairment via signaling through Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) and other inhibitory receptors. We seek to understand the immunobiology of this important human pathogen, to elucidate mechanisms of lung CD8+ T cell impairment, and to facilitate the development of preventive and therapeutic strategies.

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    615-936-2186 (p)
    615-343-9723 (f)
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    Keywords

    metapneumovirus paramyxoviruses