Biochemistry Experts

Seung-hwan Lee

Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine
United States of America


My primary research goal is to understand host-pathogen interactions during clinically important virus infection, and to direct this knowledge toward therapeutic approaches with favorable consequences. Host immunity to pathogens is multifaceted, involving cell-to-cell interactions and communication among many different cells via cytokines. Dissection of such a complex network of immune responses requires extensive knowledge of the infection system and careful examination at optimal conditions. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an opportunistic pathogen which can cause serious diseases in immunocompromised individuals such as HIV-infected patients and organ recipients. My previous and current research have focused on understanding the immune response mediated by the Natural Killer (NK) activating receptor Ly49H during murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection, leading to several seminal contributions, in which I demonstrated the identification of the Ly49h gene as a resistant gene, the generation of Ly49H-transgenic mice, the generation of Ly49H-deficient mice, and the identification of a novel pathway mediated by Ly49H during prolonged infection to regulate CD8 T cell responses. This work has served to establish one of the most powerful models for the study of the roles of an NK activating receptor in viral infections. Given my continued interest in NK regulation during virus infection, here I propose the following aims for my future research program.

Research Interest

Natural Killer Cell Cytokines Virus Infection Immunoregulation Chronic Infection Inflammation Microbiology

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