Lee Fortunato has been an Associate Professor in the Biological Sciences department at the UI since 2007. She came here in 2000, after doing both her graduate and postdoctoral training at UC San Diego (and her BS at MIT). Lee's work involves the study of host (human)/pathogen (cytomegalovirus or HCMV) interactions. HCMV is a leading cause of birth defects. Those defects can dramatically impact the lives of the children (and their parents) that suffer from them. Lee's research is aimed at understanding the underlying mechanism for the development of those defects in order to someday prevent their occurrence. Lee has been continuously funded by the NIH since 2002 and has recently been appointed as a permanent member of the Virology B study section at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH.