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Dr. Tim SparerDr. Tim Sparer

Associate Professor

Office: 515 Mossman
Phone: 865-974-3800
Fax: 865-974-4007

Lab: 520E Mossman
Phone: 865-974-6286

There are two main areas of research in my lab.

Viral Chemokines and CMV Pathogenesis

Chemokines are small chemotactic cytokines that are important in controlling leukocyte trafficking during innate, inflammatory, and adaptive immune responses. My work focuses on both human and murine cytomegaloviruses, investigating how these viruses use viral/host chemokines to alter the trafficking of immune cells for the viruses' benefit.

CMV Entry and Anti-CMV Peptides

Mouse and human cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) use sugars on the surface of cells (i.e. heparan sulfates) for initiating entry into a cell to start its replication cycle. In collaboration with Dr. Wall at UTMC we have found novel peptides that block CMV entry with peptides that bind to these cell surface sugars. In the process we have found that viruses grown in vivo verses in vitro differ in the their ability to be inhibited by these peptides. This points to differences in entry into the cell. We are exploring these using knockout cell lines/MCMVs and our novel peptides. We hope to understand how CMVs enters the cell, we can identify mechanisms for targeting vaccines or anti-CMV treatments.

To view a brief video about my research, click here.

More information, see lab page.

  • B.A., 1989, Northwestern University
  • Ph.D., 1996, Emory University
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 1996-1999, Imperial College, London, UK
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, 1999-2003, Stanford University

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