Heyde Makimaa

Program: Molecular Cell Biology

Current advisor: Megan T. Baldridge, MD, PhD

Undergraduate university: Arizona State University-Tempe, 2018

Enrollment year: 2019

Research summary
Characterizing AstV- IFN-λ interactions in vivo, leveraging mouse models for murine AstV studies, as well as in vitro, using both human and murine enteroids along with immortalized cell lines.

Astroviruses (AstVs) are common pathogens that cause gastroenteritis, and in immunocompromised individuals, they have the potential to cause lethal encephalitis and meningitis. However, they have been understudied due to the lack of a well-defined small animal model. In this research, I hope to leverage the murine AstV (muAstV) system to clarify how AstVs stimulate the innate immune system by determining how IFN-λ is induced and in which cells induction occurs, as well as how these viruses modulate IFN-λ. Notably, we will develop a new method, a muAstV reverse genetics system, which will allow the recovery of genetically defined viruses in tissue culture. This method, combined with mutational analysis, will lay the groundwork for future studies exploring the molecular mechanisms of muAstV interactions with the innate and adaptive immune systems, aiding to the further understanding of these relevant pathogens.

Graduate publications
Ingle H, Hassan E, Gawron J, Mihi B, Li Y, Kennedy EA, Kalugotla G, Makimaa H, Lee S, Desai P, McDonald KG, Diamond MS, Newberry RD, Good M, Baldridge MT. 2021 Murine astrovirus tropism for goblet cells and enterocytes facilitates an IFN-λ response in vivo and in enteroid cultures. Mucosal Immunol, 14(3):751-61.

Makimaa H, Ingle H, Baldridge MT. 2020 Enteric Viral Co-Infections: Pathogenesis and Perspective. Viruses, 12(8):904.