Eileigh’s project is focused on the mechanisms of host shutoff by respiratory viruses and its role in viral evasion of immune responses and pathogenesis.
“My name is Eileigh and I am originally from Lethbridge, Alberta and made the move to Halifax in 2016 to attend Dalhousie for my BSc. While being away from the fields and mountains was a big adjustment, living by the ocean has made up for it. When I’m not working in lab, I like to spend my time working on my embroidery, baking, and watching The Office.
Throughout my undergraduate career my research experience has been focused on studying influenza virus – both influenza A (IAV) and B (IBV) – and their mechanisms of host shutoff in infected cells. Host shutoff is utilized by many viruses to enhance their replication in cells through inhibiting the host’s gene expression.
Although IAV is typically the cause for seasonal epidemics and more serious pandemics due to reassortment and antigenic shift, IBV still accrues a significant amount of infections throughout the influenza season. IAV and IBV are closely related in structure, genome organization, and replication strategy. Interestingly, most research on the molecular determinants of pathogenesis have been focused on IAV although very few molecular mechanisms of virus-host interactions are conserved between IAV and IBV. The beginnings of this project formed my honours research work and now I am continuing in Khaperskyy lab focusing on viral host shutoff mechanisms in my MSc thesis research.”