Village-based identification of human risk factors for viral neuropathogenesis

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Grant Award Details

Grant Number:
Human Stem Cell Use:
Award Value:

Grant Application Details

Application Title:

Village-based identification of human risk factors for viral neuropathogenesis

Public Abstract:
Research Objective

We will identify the risk factors underlying viral infections of the fetal brain using a novel human stem cell-based platform that has the potential to accelerate basic and translational discoveries.


Our work will identify the biological factors that influence inter-individual differences in susceptibility and immune response to neurotropic viruses, which could inform future antiviral drug design

Major Proposed Activities

  • Build a 150-donor village that captures the immense diversity of California citizens
  • Identify risk factors for Zika, Measles, Dengue, and Cytomegalovirus infection
  • Understand the biological contributors to differences in immune response magnitude across individuals
  • Characterize differential responses to inflammatory environments across donors
Statement of Benefit to California:
Viral infections are a common cause of illness, and there are considerable differences across people in their susceptibility and response to infection. Increased presence of mosquito vectors and overall decreases in vaccination rates are putting more and more Californians at risk for viral-mediated diseases. Here, we will study viruses that are existing or emerging threats to California using human stem cell lines that represent the ancestral backgrounds of nearly 80% of Californian residents.