University of Minnesota
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MICaB Faculty

Pamela J. Skinner
Pamela J. Skinner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department

University of Minnesota, 1998, Ph.D.

612-624-2644 office
612-624-2644 lab

Research Interests:

T cell responses to HIV

Research in our laboratory focuses on two distinct projects. The goal of the first project is to gain insights into prion and Alzheimer disease pathogenesis. The goal of the second project is to gain insights into human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) pathogenesis. Prion and Alzheimer diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases with no known cure. Increased understanding of the molecular events that lead to neurodegeneration in each of these diseases is needed for early diagnosis and the development of new drug therapies. Current efforts in our lab involve the use of cDNA microarrays to identify alterations in gene expression that occur during prion-induced pathogenesis and Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. The ultimate goal of the prion/Alzheimer research project is to increase our understanding of the molecular events that occur during these disease processes, identify markers for early diagnosis, and identify new targets for drug therapy. The HIV/SIV project is motivated by the fact that over 35 million people worldwide are infected with HIV. A pressing biomedical priority is the development of an effective HIV vaccine. Several lines of evidence have indicated that the development of an effective HIV vaccine will require the induction of a strong virus specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response. Using MHC-class I tetramers, I developed a method to stain antigen specific CTLs in tissue
sections. This technique is referred to as in situ tetramer staining (IST). We are using IST to evaluate SIV and HIV specific T cells in tissues after infection, and plan to use IST to evaluate the effects of
vaccination on the development of anti-viral T cells in tissues.

Selected Recent Publications:

  • Skinner PJ, Abbassi H, Chesebro B, Race RE, Reilly C, Haase AT. 2006. Gene expression alterations in brains of mice infected with three strains of scrapie. BMC Genomics. 7:114.
  • Skinner PJ, Vierra-Green CA, Emamian E, Zoghbi HY, Orr HT. 2002 Amino acids in a region of ataxin-1 outside of the polyglutamine tract influence the course of disease in SCA1 transgenic mice. Neuromolecular Medicine. 1(1):33-42.
  • Mothé, BR, Horton, H, Carter, DK, Liebl, ME, Skinner, PJ, Allen, TM, Vogel, TU, Franchini, G, Rehrauer, W, Wilson, N, Altman, JD, Haase, AT, Picker, LJ, Sette, AD, Watkins, DI. 2002. Dominance of CD8 Responses Specific for Epitopes Bound by a Single MHC Class I Molecule During Both the Acute and Chronic Phases of Viral Infection. Journal of Virology. 76(2): 875-84
  • Skinner, PJ, Allen, TM, Mothe, BR, Watkins, DI, and Haase, AT. 2001. In situ tetramer staining of SIV specific T cells. Pharma-Transfer.
  • Fernandez-Funez, P, ML Nino-Rosales, B de Gouyon, WC She, JM Luchak, P Martinez, E Turiegano, J Benito, M Capovilla, P J Skinner, A McCall, I Canal, HT Orr, HY Zoghbi, and J Botas. 2000. Identification of genes that modify ataxin-1-induced
    neurodegeneration. Nature. 408:101-6.