Mary Poss, DVM, PhD

  • Professor, Biology and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences (VBS)
Mary Poss, DVM, PhD
Work Phone: 814-867-1213

Graduate Program

  • Molecular Cellular Integrative Biosciences (MCIBS)


Viruses as rapidly evolving markers of host population dynamics

We use rapidly evolving virus genes as markers to study recent changes in host population demographics. This approach has application to species conservation and to the ecology of infections in natural host populations.

Emerging virus infections

Newly recognized diseases in humans and animals often arise from infections with viruses that naturally reside in a different host species. We use experimental systems and computational methods to determine how viruses respond to new host environments.

Viruses and innate immunity

We are using an in vitro system to examine the spatial and temporal dynamics of cell-specific innate responses to initial infection by different viruses and consequences to virus establishment and spread. We use an in vivo system to study tissue-specific responses over time to systemic infections.

Pathogen interactions

Simultaneous infection with multiple parasites is a common phenomenon. However, the effect of coinfecting species on the course of infection for either parasite is often not investigated. We are studying the molecular mechanisms of disease attenuation that occurs during coinfection with virulent and apathogenic distantly related feline lentiviruses.