Skip to main content
Brian Poole.jpg

Brian Poole

Associate Professor
Microbiology & Molecular Biology

3138 LSB
Provo, UT 84602

Research Interests
Systemic lupus erythematosus is a common, debilitating autoimmune disease in which components of the body’s own cells are targeted and attacked by the immune system. The origins of the disease are still unclear, but it is known that genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors are all involved in causing lupus. We are studying the interactions of genetic risk factor and the putative environmental factor Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Considerable evidence indicates that EBV infection is associated with lupus. The major question with this finding is that nearly ev¬eryone has been infected with EBV, while very few of those people will go on to develop lupus. The genetic background of the person may play a key role in deciding the outcome of the infection.

Although there is a strong genetic component to lupus, not much is known about how genes influence the development of the disease. We are fo¬cusing on lupus-associated variations in the IRF5 gene. The IRF5 protein is a key intermediary in the response to viral infection, and interacts with EBV during the course of the EBV infection. We hypothesize that the modifica¬tions to the IRF5 gene associated with lupus cause aberrant activation of EBV and heightened response to EBV infection, potentially leading to the altered immune response to EBV seen in lupus patients and people at risk for lupus.

Through studying these interactions, we hope to identify markers for peo¬ple who are at high risk for lupus, and early indicators that autoimmunity is devel¬oping. Early intervention in the disease has shown promise in slowing its effects.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Immunology and Virology, Postdoctoral scholar (2004-2008)
Pennsylvania State University, Immunology and Virology, Ph.D. (2004)
Brigham Young University, Microbiology, B.Sc. (1999)

Honors and Awards
BYU College of Life Sciences: Outstanding Teaching Award
Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society: Phi Kappa Phi Election
Lupus Foundation of America, Utah Chapter: Research Appreciation Award
BYU Honors: Alcuin Fellow
Fulbright Research Award
BYU Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology: Research Award
BYU Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology: Teaching Award
Lupus Foundation of America, Utah Chapter: Research Recognition Award
BYU Women's Research Institute: Faculty Affiliate
Pennsylvania State University: Intercollege Graduate Student Outreach Award
Arthritis Foundations Trainee Award
Brigham Young University: Trustees Scholar


Johnson DK, Mello EJ, Walker TD, Hood SJ, Jensen JL, Poole BD. 2019. Combating Vaccine Hesitancy with Vaccine-Preventable Disease Familiarization: An Interview and Curriculum Intervention for College Students. Vaccines. 7(2).

Figueiredo-Braga M, Cornaby C, Cortez A, Bernardes M, Terroso G, Figueiredo M, Mesquita C, Costa L, Poole BD. 2018. Depression and anxiety in systemic lupus erythematosus: The crosstalk between immunological, clinical, and psychosocial factors. Medicine. 97(28).

Figueiredo-Braga M, Cornaby C, Cortez A, Bernardes M, Terroso G, Figueiredo M, Mesquita C, Costa L, Poole BD. 2018. Influence of Biological Therapeutics, Cytokines, and Disease Activity on Depression in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Immunology Research. 2018:Article ID 5954897, 9 pages.

Figueiredo-Braga M, Cornaby C, Bernardes M, Figueiredo M, Mesquita C, Costa L, Poole BD. 2018. Correlation between physical markers and psychiatric health in a Portuguese systemic lupus erythematosus cohort: The role of suffering in chronic autoimmune disease. Plos ONE. 13(4).

Cornaby C, Jafek JL, Birrell C, Mayhew V, Syndergaard L, Mella J, Cheney W, Poole BD. 2016. EBI2 expression in B lymphocytes is controlled by the Epstein-Barr virus transcription factor, BRRF1 (Na), during viral infection. Journal of General Virology.

Cornaby C, Tanner A, Stutz EW, Poole BD, Berges BK. 2015. Piracy on the Molecular Level: Human Herpesviruses Manipulate Cellular Chemotaxis. Journal of General Virology. in press(in press):in press.

Cornaby C, Gibbons L, Mayhew V, Sloan CS, Welling A, Poole BD. 2014. B cell epitope spreading: Mechanisms and contribution to autoimmune diseases. Immunology Letters. 163(1):56-68.

Clark DN, Read RD, Mayhew V, Petersen SC, Stutz LA, Argueta LB, Till RE, Bergsten SM, Robinson BS, Baumann DG, et al. 2013. Molecular Effects of Autoimmune-Risk Promoter Polymorphisms on Expression, Exon Choice, and Translational Efficiency of Interferon Regulatory Factor 5. Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research.

Clark DN, Read RD, Mayhew V, Petersen SC, Argueta LB, Stutz LA, Till RE, Bergsten SM, Robinson BS, Baumann DG, et al. 2013. Four promoters of IRF5 respond distinctly to stimuli and are affected by autoimmune-risk polymorphisms. Frontiers in Immunology. 11.

Clark DN, Markham JL, Sloan CS, Poole BD. 2012. Cytokine inhibition as a strategy for treating systemic lupus erythematosus. Clinical Immunology.

Guthridge J, Clark DN, Templeton A, Dominguez N, Lu R, Vidal G, Kelley JA, Kauffman K, Harley JB, Gaffney P, et al. 2012. Effects of IRF5 lupus risk haplotype on pathways predicted to influence B cell functions. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology. 2012(594056):12.

Clark DN, Poole BD, Hedman TJ, Hammond DV, Catts DS, Stewart A, Johnson FB. 2011. Characterization of herpes simplex virus clinical isolate Y3369 and its bearing on HSV typing. Virology Journal. 8:290-293.

Clark DN, Poole BD. 2012. Interferon and Apoptosis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Hani Almoallim, editor. Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. p. 77-96

Poole BD, Neiwold T, Tsokos G. 2012. Cytokines in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Poole BD, Niewold TB, Tsokos GC, Via CS. 2011. Cytokines in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Contact Form