Teresa Mattila holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Prior to her graduate studies, she was employed as an aquatic toxicologist in a private laboratory. She is married and has three children.
"I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are your works; I know this with all my heart." Psalm 139:14
A Little About Me
I have a never-ending fascination with living things and believe that every living thing is nothing short of a miracle wrought by an Almighty Creator. Every living thing glorifies the Lord! As a teacher of biology, I have the opportunity each day to learn something new that nearly brings me to my knees in awe and praise, and the more I learn, the more I realize how intricate and amazing life is. One of my greatest privileges is to pass on this wonder and knowledge to my students at Northwestern College.
“You are a second world in miniature, the sun and moon are within you, and also the stars.” Origen
Courses I Teach
Principles of Biology labs
Concepts of Biology labs and lectures
Because HIV/AIDS has caused the deaths of over 25 million people worldwide and its incidence continues to grow, it is imperative that effective means of preventing the spread of this virus be developed. Although the appearance of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells does initially correlate with reduced viral load during HIV infection, for unknown reasons this response is ultimately insufficient, and the virus is never cleared from the body.
Because an efficient CD8+ T cell response is necessary to eliminate virus from the system, it is important to identify the deficits in this vital component of the adaptive immune system which prevent it from controlling HIV infection. Our research is aimed at identifying various means by which virus-specific CD8+ T cells are deficient.
We do this using a rhesus macaque/simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) model system of infection. Fresh lymphoid and genital tissues from infected macaques are sectioned, stained with antibodies and MHC class I tetramers, and viewed using a laser scanning confocal microscope. The results are quantified using Olympus Fluoview and Image J software.
This work expands our understanding of the mechanisms by which HIV evades CD8+ T cell response and will ultimately identify factors important for a successful treatment or vaccine.
This research work is done in collaboration with the laboratory of Dr. Pamela Skinner on the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota.