Batista, Samantha (Harris)
I am interested in host-pathogen interactions, particularly how these dynamics play out in the context of the central nervous system. In the Harris lab we use the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii to study these complex interactions. T. gondii forms cysts in the brains of chronically infected animals and constant immune pressure is required to keep these cysts quiescent and avoid severe disease. We are interested in determining precisely what characterizes this immune response, how it works to maintain parasite control, and what signals initiate and coordinate this response.