Michelle Arnold, PhD
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Areas of Specialty
Rotavirus; Innate Immunity
Dr. Arnold received a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and PhD in Virology from Harvard University. Dr. Arnold’s postdoctoral training was in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since joining the faculty of LSU Heath Shreveport in 2012, Dr. Arnold has been actively involved in mentoring and training students, recruitment efforts for the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and faculty governance.
Research: Arnold Lab is focused on understanding how rotavirus evades the host innate immune response. Rotavirus is a leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children, and annually causes over 200,00 deaths worldwide. Infants have a naïve adaptive immune system, therefore the innate immune response, which serves as a critical, first-line host defense, is particularly important for protection against infectious diseases. Rotavirus has evolved multiple ways to avoid detection by the host, and also encodes proteins that directly inhibit innate antiviral pathways. Specifically, the viral nonstructural protein NSP1 is known to induce degradation of host proteins involved in interferon (IFN) induction. The Arnold Lab is working to identify the molecular mechanisms of NSP1-mediated down-regulation of IFN. Additionally, our research aims to identify and dissect the link between IFN inhibition and the species specificity of rotavirus replication. These studies may help to identify reasons for the lower vaccine efficacy observed in impoverished areas of the world.