Eric G. Meissner, M.D., Ph.D.

Eric Meissner, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Department: Medicine
Program: Inflammation



Research Interests:

Chronic infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV), if untreated, is a significant cause of inflammation and hepatic fibrosis that causes liver-related morbidity and mortality. The laboratory of Dr. Meissner studies the mechanisms of regulation of the immune response to chronic HCV infection amongst individuals using patient samples and in vitro platforms. Type-III interferons (IFNs), also called lambda IFNs (IFNLs), are essential modulators of innate immunity and infection. Genetic variation at IFNL loci strongly associate with spontaneous HCV clearance during acute infection and with cure upon treatment of chronic infection. Remarkably, in chronic HCV infection the nature of liver inflammation and rate of fibrosis progression are also linked to IFNL single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). While IFNLs impact the immune response to many types of viral infections, our understanding of the mechanism is incomplete. A central goal of Dr. Meissner’s group is to further investigate the molecular basis of IFNL during HCV infection. In particular, although type-I and type-III IFN pathways share multiple signaling proteins, it is unclear how interactions between these IFN families facilitate clearance of some viral infections, but not others. With the growing interest in modulation of IFN signaling as immunotherapy for chronic infections, including HIV and HBV, further understanding of the protective, pathologic, and relational roles of IFNs is essential.   


PubMed Collection