Pamela J. Skinner, PhD
PhD, University of Minnesota
BS, University of Minnesota
Research in my laboratory focuses on two distinct research programs. The goals of the first research program include gaining insights into human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) pathogenesis, aiding in the development of an effective HIV vaccine, and developing novel therapies to functionally cure HIV. The goals of the second program include gaining insights into prion disease pathogenesis, developing novel assays to diagnose prion diseases prior to the onset of clinical symptoms, and developing an effective treatment for prion diseases.
HIV and prion diseases
My research program focuses on understanding HIV and prion disease immunopathogenesis and the development of novel treatments for these diseases. Recently we found that HIV- and SIV-specific cytotoxic lymphocytes are largely excluded from B cell follicles where virus is most concentrated, supporting the hypothesis that B cell follicles are an immune privileged site that allows ongoing viral replication. We are working to develop cellular immunotherapy to target HIV-specific CTL to B cell follicles to functionally cure HIV. In addition, I also study gene expression changes that occur during prion disease to gain insights into disease pathogenesis and develop novel assays to diagnose prion disease.
- VBS1001: Introduction to Biotechnology, Coordinator