My research interests include viral pathogenesis, vaccine development, and the development of relevant preclinical animal models for vaccines and antiviral therapies. As a first line of host defense, dendritic cells play a critical role in orchestrating the innate immune response to alphavirus infection. Therefore, I am interested in the rationale development of dendritic cell-specific therapies for the enhanced control of alphavirus infections. I am also interested in elucidating mechanisms of innate immunity that naturally protect reservoir hosts from severe disease. This work could identify co-evolved, protective mechanisms that can be used to develop antiviral therapies and to improve vaccine design. Lastly, I am interested in the development of relevant animal models for testing vaccines, which includes assessing the efficacy and safety of vaccine candidates as well as establishing the correlates of protective immunity.