I started my work with viruses as an undergrad at Auburn University back in 1997. I ran cytotoxicity assays on inhibitors for Infectious Bursal Disease virus. After graduating with BSc in Microbiology I moved to Emory University where I was a technician at a lab that investigated the effects of alcohol on fetal immunity. We found that maternal ingestion of alcohol during pregnancy led to impaired macrophage immune-function (1). Alas, I missed working with viruses so I started graduate school as a Master's student at Georgia State University in the Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry program. I joined a lab working on West Nile virus; which is another flavivirus related to Zika virus. I studied the role of the host-protein Oas1b that conferred resistance to all flaviviruses in mice. I showed that this protein was catalytically inactive and fine-tuned the response to virus infection to limit damage to the host (2). I continued onto my PhD studies in the same lab where I investigated the role of innate immune response to West Nile virus. I found that West Nile virus, unlike many other viruses, did not activate the antiviral sensor PKR (3). After graduating with my PhD in Cellular Molecular Biology and Physiology, I started my postdoctoral training at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. At St. Jude, I worked on influenza A viruses and identified a host-kinase that regulates entry and replication of multiple influenza viruses (4). I'm currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and as an independent investigator my lab continues to focus on virus-host interactions. With ~20 yrs of training in virology, and with the help of my team of collaborators I'm very qualified to study antiviral responses to Zika virus infections in neurons.