In order to successfully replicate in the different tissues and hosts they encounter, viruses must be able to efficiently bind, enter, and replicate in target cells and to adapt rapidly to environmental pressures. Research in the Ogden lab is focused on the tropism and adaptation of segmented, double stranded RNA viruses of the Reoviridae family, including rotavirus and reovirus. Rotavirus is an important cause of diarrheal disease that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of infants and young children worldwide each year. Reovirus is an enteric, neurotropic virus that infects many mammalian species, including humans, but causes disease only in newborn animals.
Two main themes currently being explored in our laboratory are (i) diversity acquisition mechanisms, including the introduction of polymorphisms by the viral RNA polymerase and the frequency and dynamics of genome segment reassortment during co-infection, and (ii) virus-cell interactions that mediate viral attachment and entry.