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Drs. Vladimir Badovinac and John Harty receive a two-year research grant from the National Institutes of Health

April 2, 2020

Drs. Vladimir Badovinac and John Harty

Drs. Vladimir Badovinac and John Harty have been awarded R21 grant entitled ‘Evaluation of CC mice as an improved model for influenza immunity’ from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Drs. Badovinac and Harty are Co-Principle Investigators on the project.

Most animal models used to investigate the immune response to influenza infection rely on sophisticated tools available for the study of genetically identical, or inbred mice. However, data generated by Drs. Badovinac and Harty suggest that genetic diversity, as manifested in humans and outbred mice, can markedly affect T cell responses to influenza. Thus, incorporating genetic diversity into mouse models of influenza may provide improved translational insights along with mechanistic information. However, each outbred mouse is unique, diminishing their utility. To address this, the study will evaluate the genetically diverse Collaborative Cross (CC) mice as a potentially improved model of influenza immunity. The CC mice exhibit near outbred, but fully characterized, genetic diversity. However due to a creative breeding approach, each CC line is actually inbred and can be used for repeated studies, including outcrossing to other CC lines in order to further enhance genetic diversity and genetic mapping capabilities. Thus, the long-term goal of the study is to determine if the CC mouse model provides new genetic insights into the immune response to influenza, with an emphasis on the generation of memory T cells.