Dr. Patricia Devaux has focused her research on negative strand RNA viruses with her primarily interest on measles virus (MV), from the Paramyxoviridae family. Her work has led to the understanding of how measles virus enters and disseminates into its host. Additionally, she has led a better understanding aof how viruses are able to escape from the host innate immunity and how the viruses control the immune response.
Dr. Devaux and colleagues have developed a reverse genetic system allowing for the production of a recombinant virus equivalent to the Moraten vaccine strain, which is currently used for the vaccination of children in the United States.
Currently, the research focus in Dr. Devaux laboratory is on the development of a safe and efficient negative strand RNA virus-based vectors for reprogramming adult somatic cells in induced pluripotent STEM cells (iPSCs) for the treatment of Diabetes.
Dr. Devaux's other research interests include understanding how the measles virus interacts with the interferon response and especially with the STAT1 protein. She has previously shown that the measles virus phosphoprotein interacts with STAT1 and she is interested in the characterization of the interaction between both proteins at the molecular level.
Dr. Devaux is funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine.
- Development of safe and efficient reprogramming vectors based on negative strand RNA virus, like Measles virus or Canine Distemper virus, and generation of transgene-free induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).
- Diabetes therapy: Generation of insulin producing cells from the measles derived-iPSCs.
- Development of measles vectors for gene therapy.
- Characterization of the P-STAT1 interaction at the molecular level.
Significance to patient care
The goal of Dr. Devaux's research is to significantly advance the science in this emerging arena of regenerative medicine. Regeneration of transplantable tissues from autologous stem cells constitutes an enormous step forward in individualized cell therapy for various degenerative diseases including diabetes, heart failure, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. It will also allow in vitro modeling of disease progression, providing the opportunity to discover a novel patient-specific therapy strategy. Ultimately, autologous pluripotent stem cells offer a new technological platform for individualized gene and cell therapy and provide the community a resource to further develop individualized cell-based therapies.