Emerging and Infectious Diseases
Southern Research Institute
2000 Ninth Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35205
Dr. Noah received a Ph.D. in virology with a minor in biotechnology in 2000 from North Carolina State University, where she studied the role of interferon regulatory factors in reovirus induction of IFN-beta and myocarditis. Subsequently, Dr. Noah continued her work in virology as a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Texas at Austin. There, she acquired expertise in molecular influenza virology and reverse genetics. Dr. Noah joined the staff at Southern Research in 2005, and she is currently a Senior Project Leader whose research efforts are focused on the molecular pathogenesis of influenza. She also has industrial experience in quality control and process development in GLP facilities.
Dr. Noah is currently working in the Infectious Diseases area to further the understanding of influenza virus pathogenesis, including the mechanisms utilized by the highly pathogenic avian influenza strains causing deaths throughout Asia. Influenza virus is a member of the Orthomyxovirus family and causes a highly contagious respiratory disease that kills approximately 36,000 people in the United States annually. Worldwide epidemics cause many more deaths. The 1918 pandemic resulted in 20 to 40 million deaths worldwide. Current forecasters predict that antigenic shifts in the avian influenza viruses will cause outbreaks in Asia and result in the next pandemic. Dr. Noah's research focuses on the virus evasion of the cellular immune response and both viral and cellular factors involved in determining virus pathogenesis as well as the response of the body to various vaccines. Her laboratory utilizes reverse genetics to generate mutant recombinant influenza viruses which are then analyzed for increases and decreases in replication rate, cytokine production, and virulence in mice. The ultimate goal is to identify targets for the development of antiviral therapeutics. Dr. Noah's interests also include other NIAID Category A, B, and C priority pathogens, especially SARS virus, and she hopes to expand her research to include these viruses.