- Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology
- Vet Med
Dr. Yuan’s research focuses on human enteric viral diseases, including the interactions among enteric viruses, gut microbiota and host immune systems and the development of more effective and safe vaccines and therapeutics against rotavirus and norovirus gastroenteritis.
Dr. Yuan is one of a few experts in the world developing and utilizing gnotobiotic pig models for
the study of human viral diseases. Dr. Yuan’s research focuses on human enteric viral diseases,
specifically the interactions among enteric viruses, gut microbiota and host immune systems and
the development of effective and safe vaccines and therapeutics against rotavirus and norovirus
gastroenteritis using the gnotobiotic pig models. Gnotobiotic pig models enable her laboratory to analyze immunological responses to rotavirus and norovirus infections and vaccines on a clear
background; many of the studies have established immune correlates of protection after virus
infection/vaccination and expanded the knowledge of the porcine immune system and their
similarity and difference from responses in humans.
Current research areas in Yuan laboratory include evaluation of the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of novel nanoparticle rotavirus and norovirus vaccines; development of prophylactic and therapeutic agents against rotavirus and norovirus gastroenteritis; study the influence of human gut microbiota on the pathogenesis and immunity of norovirus infection and vaccination in human-gut-microbiota transplanted gnotobiotic pigs using virological, immunological, and multi-omics approaches. Yuan lab is also active in generation and characterization of genetically engineered gnotobiotic pig models of human rotavirus and norovirus infection and other human viruses in addition to the well-established rotavirus and norovirus pig models.