Varicella-zoster Virus Infection of Sensory Neurons

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Guest Speaker: Katherine Lee, PhD

Conversations in Local Health Research

Friday, September 13, 2013

10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Ricketson Auditorium

Brown Bag Lunch with speaker to follow presentation

Varicella-zoster Virus Infection of Sensory Neurons

 Katherine Lee

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) has infected the majority of the world’s population, causing both chickenpox and shingles. Initial infection leads to chickenpox, and Shingles results when the virus is activated after establishing latency in sensory neurons. Over 30% of people who had chicken pox will experience shingles in their lifetime, which is associated with severe pain and morbidity. Despite the availability of a shingles vaccine, the low usage rates and decreased efficacy as the patient gets older indicate that VZV remains an important public health concern. In order to limit the occurrence of shingles, much more needs to be understood about the mechanisms of how VZV establishes latency and reactivates. Join us for a presentation by Dr. Lee as she shares her findings in an effort to identify the specific sensory neurons that harbor latent VZV, and how this work will help us learn more about treating Shingles.  

Katherine Lee, PhD is an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Denver, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics.

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