Novel Biomarker Identification for Human Cytomegalovirus Disease in Transplant Patients

Organ transplants save patients with severe end stage organ failure but the need for subsequent lifelong immunosuppression can lead to a number of undesired consequences including the reactivation of viruses of donor or recipient origin. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is the most common opportunistic infection in transplant patients and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Strategies to deal with HCMV infection include universal prophylaxis in which transplant recipients are given antiviral therapy post transplantation and pre-emptive therapy in which patients are monitored at regular intervals for evidence of HCMV infection and then treated if necessary. These strategies are imperfect and could be greatly improved if biomarkers of HCMV susceptibility were available to categorize patients into high risk and low risk groups. In this research the intern will look at cellular and nucleic acid biomarkers that have the potential to be indicative of patient susceptibility to HCMV infection.

Faculty Supervisor:

Deepali Kumar


Victor Ferreira


Industrial BioDevelopment Laboratory




Life sciences


University of Toronto



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