Stacy Horner received her BA in Biochemistry and Chemistry from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN in 2001. As an undergraduate, she had research experiences with Dr. J. Ellis Bell at Gustavus and Dr. Thomas R. Broker at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. She entered graduate school at Yale University in the Microbiology graduate program where she worked with Dr. Daniel DiMaio. Her graduate research focused on human papillomavirus (HPV) regulation of cellular growth control pathways and also on designing strategies to eliminate HPV DNA from cervical cancer cells. She received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from Yale in 2007.
Building on her interest of virus/host interactions, Dr. Horner joined the laboratory of Dr. Michael Gale Jr. at the University of Washington for her postdoctoral training in 2007. Her postdoctoral research focused on understanding innate immune regulation by hepatitis C virus (HCV), a global human pathogen. During this time, she identified the mitochondrial-associated ER membrane (MAM; a subdomain of the ER located adjacent to mitochondria) as a membrane platform that organizes innate immune signaling and also as the intracellular site of immune regulation by HCV. Dr. Horner’s postdoctoral research was supported by the Irvington Institute Fellowship Program of the Cancer Research Institute.
Dr. Horner joined the faculty of the Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Medicine departments at Duke University Medical Center in 2013. Her laboratory is interested in understanding the cell biology of antiviral innate immunity and how RNA viruses, including hepatitis C virus, evade innate immunity. Overall, her research uses a interdisciplinary approach, combining techniques from cell biology, virology, biochemistry, and systems biology to reveal the viral and host strategies that coordinate and regulate innate immunity, with the ultimate goal of developing new immunomodulatory strategies for virus treatment and prevention.