Assistant Professor

Tel: (901) 448-5075


  • Ph.D., Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, US, Viral immunology
  • M.S., Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, Genetics
  • B.S., Sichuan University, Chengdu, China, Biology

Research Description

We aim to understand how early events such as respiratory infection impacts the developing lung and immune system.  Specifically, we look at the role of viruses (e.g. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and influenza) in altering pulmonary immune responses.

We have created mouse infant model systems to address these critical barriers to the field.  Armed with these models, we have made several key findings.  First, early exposures have long-term pulmonary consequences both in terms of lung function and subsequent immune response.  Second, RSV disease, which is the most common cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections in infants, sequela can be altered thus preventing the long-term wheeze associated with severe bronchiolitis.  This is particularly intriguing when one considers that vaccine type approaches and therapeutics may be designed around these findings.

With all these mouse models and findings in hand, our short term research plan is to identify the early immunological parameters that produce long-term changes in immune responses and pulmonary function.  For instance, we have found that neonatal RSV infection induces biased type II immune responses which are associated with several molecular targets including IL-4Ra, IL-13, and type I IFNs.  With genetically modified mice and immunology methodologies, we can study the mechanisms whereby these molecules induce RSV disease.

While finding the mechanisms responsible for the pathogenesis of respiratory viral infections in infants is our short term goal, our long term research goal is to use the mechanistic knowledge we gain from those studies to help design better paediatric vaccines. The infant immune system is immature compared to adults; and therefore conventional vaccine strategy are inefficient in infants requiring repeated boosting to elicit a protective memory response.  Hopefully, our research findings using the infant mouse model will help indentify key components that need to be included in pediatric vaccines that lead to both protection and long-term immunity.

Research Interest/Specialty

Viral immunology

Neonatal immunity

Respiratory viruses


  1. Huang, H, Saravia, J, You, D, Shaw, AJ, Cormier, SA. Impaired gamma delta T cell-derived IL-17A and inflammasome activation during early respiratory syncytial virus infection in infants. Immunol Cell Biol, 2014.
  2. Cormier, SA, Shrestha, B, Saravia, J, Lee, GI, Shen, L, DeVincenzo, JP, Kim, YI, You, D. Limited type I interferons and plasmacytoid dendritic cells during neonatal respiratory syncytial virus infection permit immunopathogenesis upon reinfection. J Virol, 88 (16), 9350-60, 2014.
  3. Birke, L, Cormier, SA, You, D, Stout, RW, Clement, C, Johnson, M, Thompson, H. Hepatitis E antibodies in laboratory rabbits from 2 US vendors. Emerg Infect Dis, 20 (4), 693-6, 2014.
  4. Lee, GI, Saravia, J, You, D, Shrestha, B, Jaligama, S, Hebert, VY, Dugas, TR, Cormier, SA. Exposure to combustion generated environmentally persistent free radicals enhances severity of influenza virus infection. Part Fibre Toxicol, 11, 57, 2014.
  5. You, D, Marr, N, Saravia, J, Shrestha, B, Lee, GI, Turvey, SE, Brombacher, F, Herbert, DR, Cormier, SA. IL-4Rα on CD4+ T cells plays a pathogenic role in respiratory syncytial virus reinfection in mice infected initially as neonates. J Leukoc Biol, 93 (6), 933-42, 2013.
  6. Wang, P, You, D, Saravia, J, Shen, H, Cormier, SA. Maternal exposure to combustion generated PM inhibits pulmonary Th1 maturation and concomitantly enhances postnatal asthma development in offspring. Part Fibre Toxicol, 10, 29, 2012.
  7. Duggan, JM, You, D, Cleaver, JO, Larson, DT, Garza, RJ, Guzmán Pruneda, FA, Tuvim, MJ, Zhang, J, Dickey, BF, Evans, SE. Synergistic interactions of TLR2/6 and TLR9 induce a high level of resistance to lung infection in mice. J Immunol, 186 (10), 5916-26, 2011.
  8. Cormier, SA, You, D, Honnegowda, S. The use of a neonatal mouse model to study respiratory syncytial virus infections. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther, 8 (12), 1371-80, 2010.
  9. Evans, SE, Leventakos, K, Ben-Ami, R, You, D, Thakkar, SG, Lewis, RE, Kontoyiannis, DP. Toll-deficient Drosophila are resistant to infection by Pneumocystis spp.: additional evidence of specificity to mammalian hosts. Virulence, 1 (6), 523-5, 2010.
  10. Ripple, MJ, You, D, Honnegowda, S, Giaimo, JD, Sewell, AB, Becnel, DM, Cormier, SA. Immunomodulation with IL-4R alpha antisense oligonucleotide prevents respiratory syncytial virus-mediated pulmonary disease. J Immunol, 185 (8), 4804-11, 2010.
  11. Fahmy, B, Ding, L, You, D, Lomnicki, S, Dellinger, B, Cormier, SA. In vitro and in vivo assessment of pulmonary risk associated with exposure to combustion generated fine particles. Environ Toxicol Pharmacol, 29 (2), 173-82, 2010.
  12. You, D, Ripple, M, Balakrishna, S, Troxclair, D, Sandquist, D, Ding, L, Ahlert, TA, Cormier, SA. Inchoate CD8+ T cell responses in neonatal mice permit influenza-induced persistent pulmonary dysfunction. J Immunol, 181 (5), 3486-94, 2008.
  13. Wang, K, You, D, Balakrishna, S, Ripple, M, Ahlert, T, Fahmy, B, Becnel, D, Daly, M, Subra, W, McElduff, JS, Lomax, LG, Troxclair, D, Cormier, SA. Sediment from hurricane katrina: potential to produce pulmonary dysfunction in mice. Int J Clin Exp Med, 1 (2), 130-44, 2007.
  14. You, D, Becnel, D, Wang, K, Ripple, M, Daly, M, Cormier, SA. Exposure of neonates to respiratory syncytial virus is critical in determining subsequent airway response in adults. Respir Res, 7, 107, 2006.
  15. Becnel, D, You, D, Erskin, J, Dimina, DM, Cormier, SA. A role for airway remodeling during respiratory syncytial virus infection. Respir Res, 6, 122, 2005.