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Mary L. Poss

Mary L. Poss

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Professor of Biology and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

W229B Millennium Sciences Complex
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814)867-1213
Lab Address: W235C Millennium Sciences Complex

Research Interests

Viruses as Rapidly Evolving Markers of Host Population Dynamics
We use rapidly evolving virus genes as markers to study recent changes in host population demographics. This approach has application to species conservation and to the ecology of infections in natural host populations.
Emerging Virus Infections
Newly recognized diseases in humans and animals often arise from infections with viruses that naturally reside in a different host species. We use experimental systems and computational methods to determine how viruses respond to new host environments.
Viruses and Innate Immunity
We are using an in vitro system to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of cell-specific innate responses to primary infection by acute respiratory viruses and consequences to establishment and spread of a secondary virus. We use an in vivo system to integrate temporal changes in host innate responses and virus genomes in systemic lentivirus infections.
Pathogen Interactions
Simultaneous infection with multiple parasites is a common phenomenon; however, the effect of coinfecting species on the course of infection for either parasite is often not investigated. We are studying the molecular mechanisms of disease attenuation that occur during coinfection with virulent and apathogenic distantly related feline lentiviruses.

Selected Publications

Wittekindt, N., A. Padhi, S. Schuster, J. Qi, F. Zhao, L. Tomsho, L. Kasson, M. Packard, P. Cross, and M. Poss. 2010 Nodeomics: meta-transcriptomic exploration of a vertebrate lymph node microbiome. PLoS One 5(10): e13432.
Roy, S., J. Lavine, F. Chiaromonte, J. Terwee, S. VandeWoude, O. Bjornstad, and M. Poss. 2009. Multivariate statistical analysis of host immunological response to simultaneous infection with a host adapted and a novel feline lentivirus. Plos One 4(10): e7359.
Padhi, A., H. Ross, J. Terwee, S. vandeWoude, and M, Poss. 2010. Profound Differences in Virus Population Genetics Correspond to Protection from CD4 Decline Resulting from Feline Lentivirus Coinfection. (Special Edition on Virus Evolution and Dynamics). Viruses 2: 2663-2680.
Biek R., A. Drummond, and M. Poss. 2006. Virus reveals population structure and recent demographic history of its carnivore host. Science 311: 538-541.