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Tatyana Souza

About her

Tatyana is a doctoral student in the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences whose research focuses on virology. A grant from the Thomas J. Lalor MD Memorial Fund allowed her to travel to Steamboat Springs, Colo., to present at a meeting on B cell research. The experience turned out to be crucial to her work.

About her research

"The great interactions I had at the B cell meeting have led me in a new direction in my experiments and may help solve the puzzle of how the herpes virus establishes life-long infection."

"I study the herpes virus, EBV, and how it establishes and maintains life-long infection in the human B cells. In analysis of single infected cells from the human, I discovered that the virus is found only in a particular subset of B cells. My initial reaction was that the virus changed the B cells upon infection."

"I presented this work at the meeting, and through discussions with fellow researchers, a new hypothesis developed. From these interactions, I learned that the virus may actually be excluded from a particular subset of B cells that responds rapidly to blood-borne pathogens."

"I am currently investigating this hypothesis in my experiments. If the virus is, in fact, excluded from maintaining infection in this subset of B cells, then we will know the pathway that is necessary for the virus to establish life-long infection."

About the Lalor Travel Fund

The Thomas J. Lalor MD Memorial Fund pays travel expenses so Sackler doctoral students in immunology can present research at national and international meetings.

The fund was endowed by the family of the late Dr. Thomas J. Lalor, M27, with $50,000 in 1995, and with subsequent gifts, has grown to more than $200,000.

Twenty-five young scientists to date have put the awards toward conference networking that has significantly advanced their research.

Says Professor of Pathology Henry Wortis, MD, graduate program director in immunology: "The travel experience plays a unique and often transforming experience in the life of the developing scientist. I cannot think of better value for the money."