Profile: Scientist Irene Bosch

Profile: Scientist Irene Bosch

Dr. Irene Bosch's research interests are to understand pathogenesis by human RNA viruses, among them the flavivirus dengue and the West Nile virus. She graduated in 1993 from Harvard University, where she did her doctoral degree in cellular and molecular biology of parasites. She then took two consecutive post-doctoral training positions at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in Boston, where she worked with Dr. James Croop on cancer research and Arthur Pardee on gene expression studies (differential display) as well as with the Department of Human Retrovirology studying cytokine chemokine responses to HIV.

All of that contributed to Dr. Bosch's interest in methodologies for studying gene expression in infected cells at her present position. This is linked to her interest in defining the patho-physiologic mechanisms of hemorrhagic viruses. In this context, she has devoted a lot of attention to vascular biology and has developed methods for studying viral pathogenesis in vitro. She participates and designs clinical studies on dengue fever in Venezuela, Caribbean and South America as well as on epidemiological studies of WNV in South America. She has established a student rotation abroad for the MD/PhD and PhD programs at the UMASS Medical School to increase the exposure of students in the United States to tropical diseases. She contributes to the programs which brings underrepresented students into scientific careers in the US. Currently, she participates in several NIH-NIAD grants as well as in the international cooperation projects on dengue research in the Americas. The recent ones are the Dengue Genome Project with the Broad Institute and diagnostic test for dengue with Iquum Inc, MA. Over a dozen graduate and undergraduate students, as well as post-doctoral fellows have worked in her laboratory for the last five years of her career at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her educational contribution is shown on the website for the Cooperative Centers for Transnational Research on Human Immunology and Biodefense. She likes to think that the control of mosquito transmitted diseases are among the most challenging scientific problems to solve.

She will be participating in the Cambridge Science Festival.