Haina Shin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Internal Medicine
Infectious Diseases

Immunology Program
Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Program
Neurosciences Program

  • 314 747 3888

  • haina.shin@wustl.edu

  • Examining immune responses against viruses that establish persistent infections in their hosts

Research Abstract:

My research interests lie in examining immune responses against viruses that establish persistent infections in their hosts. Persistent infections can begin locally after entry through a barrier tissue and then establish persistence by outpacing the host immune response and disseminating to other tissues. However, recent work has shown that local immune responses can limit this dissemination and effectively control infection. I currently work with a female mouse model of genital herpes, a disease that begins in the genital tract and spreads to the peripheral nervous system (PNS), where the virus establishes latency. Genital herpes is a persistent, incurable sexually transmitted infection (STI) that affects hundreds of millions of people world-wide. Women are especially vulnerable, as they are infected at a higher rate than men, and suffer more severe disease consequences. While the severity of genital herpes can be managed with antiviral drugs, the threat of transmission cannot be eliminated as these drugs cannot fully suppress asymptomatic virus shedding. Furthermore, despite several clinical trials, no vaccine is available for use against HSV-2. Using this mouse model of HSV-2 infection and a novel vaccine strategy that I developed called "prime and pull", I aim to understand the mechanisms by which local immune responses limit infection at the site of entry and support antiviral defense within nervous tissues. Deeper understanding of these mechanisms will be important for the design of efficacious vaccines against similar types of infections, and in the development of new therapies for established HSV-2 infection. New strategies to control and prevent HSV-2 infection will be critical for improving global public health.

Selected Publications:

Shin H., and Iwasaki A. (2012). A vaccine strategy that protects against genital herpes by establishing local memory T cells. Nature. 491(7424):463-7. PMCID: PMC3499630.

Shin H., and Iwasaki A. (2012). Skin T(rm) mediates distributed border patrol. Cell Res. 22:1325-1327. PMCID: PMC3748618.

Shin H., and Iwasaki A. (2013). Tissue-resident memory T cells. Immunol. Rev. Sep;255(1):165-81. PMCID: PMC3748618.

Shin H., and Iwasaki A. (2013) Generating protective immunity against genital herpes. Trends in Immunol. Oct;34(10):487-94. PMCID: PMC3819030.

Stelekati E, Shin H., Doering D.A., Dolfi D.V., Ziegler C.G., Beiting D.P., Dawson L., Liboon J., Wolski D., Ali M.-A. A., Katsikis P.D., Shen H., Roos D.S., Haining W.N., Lauer G.M., and Wherry E.J. (2014). Bystander chronic infection negatively impacts development of CD8+ T cell memory. Immunity. 40(5):801-13. PMCID: PMC4114317.

Last Updated: 7/23/2015 12:01:19 PM

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