Kristen M. Ogden, PhD
Infectious Diseases, Pediatric
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, 2008
Fellowship-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Virology, vaccines, diarrhea, diarrheal disease, RNA, packaging, reassortment, extracellular vesicles, tropism, enteroid, organoid, evolution
RNA viruses are ubiquitous intracellular parasites that cause many important diseases. To successfully replicate in the different tissues and hosts they encounter, viruses must be able to efficiently bind, enter, and replicate in target cells and to adapt rapidly to environmental pressures. Large population size, fast replication rate, and short generation time permit RNA virus populations to evolve much more rapidly than DNA-based organisms. Research in the Ogden Lab is focused on understanding mechanisms by which segmented, double stranded RNA viruses, including rotavirus and reovirus, acquire genetic diversity and the impacts of this diversity on virus and host populations. Rotavirus is an important cause of diarrheal disease that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of infants and young children each year. Licensed vaccines have significantly reduced the burden of rotavirus disease in several countries, but they may be exerting pressures leading to shifts in the antigenic makeup of predominantly circulating strains. The Ogden Lab is exploring vaccine-elicited antibody recognition of specific outer-capsid antigens and identifying rotavirus species and cell-type tropism determinants. Reovirus is an oncolytic virus that infects many mammalian species, including humans, but causes disease only in newborn animals. The Ogden Lab uses reovirus to answer fundamental questions about segmented, double-stranded RNA virus structure, virus-cell interactions, and viral diversity. Themes currently being explored include packaging signals, gene segment reassortment during coinfection, virus transmission in extracellular vesicles, and structural dynamics of the attachment protein during cell entry.