Dawid Zyla, Ph.D.

What if we can use viruses to monitor the efficacy of our immune system?

The human body is host to many viruses that stay with us throughout our lives. Those viruses, being a part of our virome, are under the control of the immune system. In a healthy individual, there is a delicate balance between viruses and immune response, keeping non-pathogenic viruses at low levels. However, when a disease or medication weakens the immune system, virus levels increase and lead to medical complications, a phenomenon called viremia. The normally latent viruses in the body could be used as potential markers of immune function to predict opportunistic infections and rejection of transplanted organs. The goal of my SPARK project is to develop an antigen-based method that can measure virus levels in the blood and guide immunosuppression medication administration to lower the possibility of viremia.

SPARKing Impact: My project aims to develop an antigen-based method that can measure virus levels in the blood and guide immunosuppression medication administration to lower the possibility of viremia.