Dr. Hermance completed her PhD in 2016, and the objective of her dissertation research was to investigate host immunomodulation by Powassan virus-infected ticks while examining components of tick saliva that lead to a more favorable environment for virus transmission. Her long-term research interests are to comprehensively characterize the cellular and molecular immunology of the tick-virus-host interface; therefore, the focus of her postdoctoral research is to identify specific tick saliva factors that potentiate Powassan virus transmission and host immunomodulation. One of her current projects is to identify and characterize exogenous tick saliva miRNAs and their potential role in regulating Powassan virus infection.
Erin Reynolds has over a decade of infectious disease research experience which includes conducting in-vivo and in-vitro experiments in high level biocontainment laboratories, assisting in development of animal models for disease transmission and pathogenesis, and working under Good Laboratory Practice requirements. Through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science she has completed Laboratory Animal Technologist and Institute of Laboratory Animal Management certifications. Her current research interests include development of a non-lethal animal model for Heartland Virus and evaluating the differences in disease progression between male and female mice.
Charles Hart graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry from Central Connecticut State University in 2013. He entered the University of Texas Medical Branch in 2014 in the human pathophysiology and translational medicine program and joined the Thangamani lab in 2015. Primary interests include vector-pathogen interactions and pathogen-pathogen interactions during coinfection. Charles Hart’s current project focuses on the interaction between Powassan virus and Borrelia burgdorferi in terms of tick pathogen acquisition and transmission, as well as the effect of dual infection in vertebrates.
Research Focus: Mosquito determinants of Alphavirus and Flavivirus transmission and dissemination.