Welcome to the Thielen Lab

Welcome to the homepage for the Thielen Lab!

Dr. Thielen’s academic work encompasses both an active adult and pediatric clinical infectious diseases
practice and a research program focused on host-pathogen interactions in the human respiratory tract,
in particular innate immune signaling pathways induced by viral infections. Her lab is particularly
interested in understanding the factors that influence the severity of respiratory viral infections,
including viral sequence variants, respiratory microbiota composition and host genetics. The Thielen lab
has several active projects focused on these questions:

  • We are currently enrolling participants in a longitudinal cohort study (MINNE-LOVE)
    (z.umn.edu/minnelove) in which we seek to correlate respiratory microbiota dysbiosis and
    incident respiratory viral infections in a cohort of Minnesota children. As part of this study, we
    seek to analyze the genome sequences of circulating respiratory viruses, including influenza and
  • We are developing a respiratory epithelial-respiratory microbiota-influenza co-culture model to
    study mechanisms interactions between the respiratory microbiota and respiratory viral
    pathogens in vitro.
  • We are developing a new longitudinal household-based study of respiratory viral molecular
    epidemiology across the state as an academic partner in the Pathogen Genomics Center of
    Excellence based at the Minnesota Department of Health. This study will focus on engagement
    of traditionally underrepresented populations across the state.
  • We are conducting a study of viral causes of fever in children undergoing chemotherapy for
    cancer treatment at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala, Uganda.
  • We are developing and testing novel techniques for diagnosing the molecular causes of
    suspected inborn errors of immunity in human patients using transcriptomic approaches paired
    with whole genomic sequencing (Mechanisms of Diseases of the Human Immune System).