The Miner Laboratory studies the intersection of antiviral immunity and autoimmunity.
Mission: We seek to uncover nature’s mysteries and to find cures for some of the most extraordinary and devastating human diseases.
Vision: To make fundamental discoveries leading to highly effective personalized medicine
Values: Teamwork, hard work, inclusion, creativity, and focus
Contact us if you’re interested in working with us.
Derek Platt played football in college but now pursues his passion for microbiology. His first project was focused on the then obscure Zika virus. When the recent global outbreak of Zika occurred, Platt ended up in contact with research teams all over the world, and the results of his work are being used for diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Now Derek is using his expertise in microbiology to study how microbes influence autoimmunity in a model of STING-associated vasculopathy.
Retinal vasculopathy with cerebral leukoencephalopathy (RVCL)
RVCL is a rare disease caused by mutations in the TREX1 gene. Patients with RVCL (also known as cerebroretinal vasculopathy or CRV), develop eye and brain lesions that result in blindness, dementia, and premature death.
We are working to discover the underlying mechanisms of disease pathogenesis.
Our goal is to develop novel, effective treatments for this rare disease.
Ellen S. Clark Hope Plaza (top)
Brain lesions in RVCL (bottom)
Click here to read more about the RVCL Research Center.
STING-associated vasculopathy with onset in infancy (SAVI)
Children with mutations in STING, an innate immune sensor of viral DNA, develop a severe lupus-like disease.
The Miner laboratory published the first mouse model of STING-associated vasculopathy and has subsequently performed additional studies to define mechanisms of disease pathogenesis in this model.
Unexpectedly, we discovered that type I interferon signaling as well as upstream regulators and downstream effectors of STING are not required for disease pathogenesis in mice.
TREX1-cGAS-STING signaling pathway
Click here to read more about our work on SAVI.
Innate immunity during chikungunya and Zika virus infections
Members of the Miner laboratory were involved in developing early models of congenital Zika virus infection.
The Miner laboratory has continued to study mechanisms of antiviral immunity against flaviviruses (e.g., West Nile virus, Zika virus) and alphaviruses (e.g., chikungunya virus, Mayaro virus).