Dr. Casola is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology and Immunology. She obtained her medical degree and completed her residency in Pediatrics at the II School of Medicine, Napoli, Italy. After a research fellowship in molecular biology done at the Child Health Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Dr. Casola completed a three year clinical fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the same institution. Dr. Casola's research interests involve studies of virus-epithelial cell interactions as they relate to mucosal inflammation. In the past few years, she has been investigating how respiratory syncytialus (RSV) regulates CXC and CC chemokine expression in airway epithelial cells. These studies have used approaches to describe cis and trans control mechanisms in transcriptional regulation of these highly inducible genes. Dr. Casola's laboratory is currently studying several inducible intracellular signaling pathways activated by RSV in airway epithelial cells with particular emphasis on the role of reactive oxygen species in RSV induced lung inflammation both in vitro and in vivo, using a mouse model of RSV infection. Her laboratory has also initiated studies to investigate the pathogenesis of a newly identified respiratory virus, called human metapneumovirus (hMPV). They have developed a rodent model of infection and are currently testing the role of specific viral protein using recombinant hMPV, lacking the expression of single or multiple proteins, using in vitro and in vivo approaches.