We are interested in using a systems immunology approach to study host response to viral infection (HIV, SARS-CoV, influenza), vaccination (SARS-CoV, influenza, varicella zoster virus), autoimmunity (psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, POTS, Sjögren's syndrome), cardiovascular disease and cancer (melanoma, colorectal) in order to identify novel therapeutic targets and to inform personalized medicine.
Dr. Cheryl Cameron completed her Ph.D. in virology in the laboratory of Dr. Grant McFadden at Western University, computationally identifying novel viral immunomodulatory proteins such as the CD47 and CD200 homologues encoded by myxomavirus, a close relative of smallpox. She went on to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship in viral immunopathogenesis at the University of Toronto, applying transcriptomic analyses to dissect the host response to pathogenic respiratory viruses such as SARS-CoV-1 and avian influenza virus to identify key determinants of severe outcome. Dr. Cameron has continued to study the complex interplay between the host and virus, using objective computational approaches to identify mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and novel targets for immunomodulatory therapeutic interventions to improve the outcome in infected individuals. She went on to study chronic viral infection in people living with HIV, and has discovered that many of the host immune pathways that are highly dysregulated in viral infection are similarly dysregulated in cancer and in other diseases characterized by chronic inflammation, such as cardiovascular disease, heart failure and psoriasis. Importantly, many of these pathways are metabolic in nature and are impacted by diet, nutrition, and drug abuse. Most recently, Dr. Cameron has revived her SARS coronavirus research program and is actively studying the host immune response to SARS-CoV-2 in an effort to identify predictive biomarkers of disease severity as well as potential therapeutic targets to reverse the immune pathology seen in COVID-19. Dr. Cameron was excited to join the Department of Nutrition in 2019 as a translational researcher, and is happy to discuss opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in her research program, either by assisting in the analysis of big data, or by performing wet lab research.