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Professor awarded NSF grant to study disease resistance
[08.01.2013]

TAMPA, Fla. -- Two University of South Florida professors were awarded a four-year, $600,000 National Science Foundation research grant to study the effects of stress hormones on disease resistance, tolerance and transmission.

Lynn Martin of the Department of Integrative Biology and Thomas Unnasch (USF Department of Global Health) will focus on the phenomenon of superspreading, where a virulent disease rapidly spreads through a population or crosses from one species to another rapidly.

They will be using zebra finches as their animal model. In animals, superspreading appears important for the spread of several zoonotic diseases, or infections that spill from animal into human populations such as West Nile virus.

The purpose of the studies funded by this grant is to investigate the role of stress hormones in superspreading, interactions among zebra finches, Culex pipiens mosquitos, and West Nile virus.

There never has been a systematic study of the effects of stress hormones in all aspects of one interacting host-vector-parasite system.

-USF-



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Author: Lauren McGee
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