Amanda Lee

PhD Candidate

Bachelor of Health Sciences, McMaster University

905-525-9140 extension 22778





HSV-2 is one of the most common sexually transmitted lifelong infections. It is the predominant cause of recurrent genital herpes and can cause severe complications in the immunocompromised and newborns. Furthermore, recent research has implicated HSV-2 infection with a higher risk of HIV infection and transmission. In Canada, approximately 19% of the population is infected with HSV-2.

The immune response to HSV-2 involves both an innate and adaptive immune response. My project focuses on the innate immune response, which controls early viral replication and stimulates the adaptive immune response to clear the infection. More specifically, we are interested in the interplay between type I interferon (a protein with antiviral effects), natural killer cells (innate immune cells important in controlling the early stages of infection), and nitric oxide (a potent antiviral molecule, capable of preventing viral replication). Studying these interactions and their importance in HSV-2 infection can lead to a better understanding of how this infection can be treated and contribute to new strategies for therapeutics against HSV-2.