Dr. Verma’s long-term research goal is to understand immunological events associated with pathogenesis of neurotropic viruses to ultimately design therapeutic interventions and/or adjunct therapies to improve disease pathology. Her research employs both, in vitro and in vivo mouse models to delineate various innate immune signaling pathways that contribute to antiviral defense and inflammation in flavivirus infections. The focus of her COBRE project is to analyze mechanisms associated with disruption of the blood-brain barrier and its consequence with respect to the entry of West Nile virus (WNV) in the mice brain. In addition, ongoing studies are investigating the efficacy of anti-inflammatory drugs such as inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases and cyclooxygenase-2 signaling pathway as a potential therapeutic target to manage WNV encephalitis. Another area of her research is to understand the role of NLR family of pathogen recognition receptors, NLRP3, NLRC5 and inflammasome adapter molecule ASC in modulating innate and adaptive immune response to WNV. One of her recent project also involves characterizing the role of epigenetic modulation in innate immune responses to flaviviruses.