The Morrison lab studies Ross River virus (RRV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV), mosquito-transmitted Alphaviruses that cause debilitating inflammation of joint and skeletal muscle tissue. RRV is endemic to Australia, and CHIKV is endemic to most of Africa and Asia. These viruses have caused outbreaks involving millions of people and are an emerging disease threat. A massive CHIKV epidemic in 2004-2007 led to the introduction of CHIKV to nonendemic countries, including the United States. However, no vaccines or specific therapies are available for these viruses and the pathogenic mechanisms are not understood. The immune response is essential for protection against viral infection. Paradoxically, the immune response can also be the cause of some diseases, such as the inflammatory disease induced by CHIKV or RRV infection. For my thesis, I’m investigating the role of the innate immune response, particularly macrophages, in the development and resolution of RRV/CHIKV-induced musculoskeletal disease.