Dr. Traina-Dorge is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Tulane University School of Medicine and a Molecular Virologist within the Division of Microbiology at the Tulane National Primate Research Center (TNPRC), Covington, Louisiana. She has a broad background in virology, immunology, and pathogenesis of nonhuman primates. This includes over twenty years’ experience developing nonhuman primate (NHP) models of pathogenic viral infections that include agents: simian varicella virus (SVV), simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), human/simian T cell lymphotropic virus (STLV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhesus papillomavirus (RhPV), and alphaviruses: Eastern, Western and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses (EEE, WEE, VEE) to study the molecular mechanisms of viral pathogenesis, carcinogenesis, molecular epidemiology, vaccine efficacy and therapeutics to combat those infections.
She has designed and led numerous NHP vaccine efficacy trials with vaccines that include: RSV deletion mutants, recombinant Sendai virus-RSV, and live attenuated, recombinant rSVV-SIV AIDS vaccines, and recently collaborated on NHP efficacy trials with a trivalent alphavirus (EEE, WEE, VEE) virus like particle (VLP) vaccine. She is currently the PI of two AIDS preclinical NHP vaccine trials with NIH RO1 and SVEU Contract awards, testing the novel recombinant rSVV-SIV viral vectored vaccine in infant and adult macaques to assess immunization routes, DNA and protein boosting, preexisting immunity, and the optimal SVV and SIV specific mucosal immunity that will protect against mucosal SIV challenge, with the ultimate goal to develop a vaccine against HIV. Following the development of an NHP animal model of shingles/zoster, she is also currently working to identify cell types and cell signaling molecules for onset of shingles, as well as, to identify and delineate mechanisms of viral subclinical reactivation multiorgan involvement as a cause of stroke, arteritis, ocular infections, and potentially, Alzheimer's disease.
View Dr. Traina-Dorge's publications on PubMed here.