Ms. Durant spent over 30 years at the Indiana University School of Medicine working in a wide variety of fields with individuals from around the world. Along the way, she co-wrote and edited grant applications and manuscripts. Her published peer-reviewed journal articles can be viewed in Pubmed. For years she concentrated on the study of the mechanisms of pathogenesis of Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) in the Dept. of Pathology directed by Chao-Hung Lee, PhD. PCP is difficult to study, since it can’t be grown in continuous culture. Fortunately, Ms. Durant is the undeclared world champion at infecting rats and mice with this organism. Her work made it possible for the lab to make important discoveries about its mechanism of action—how during PCP alveolar macrophages are not only defective in phagocytosis, but their number is reduced due to an increased rate of apoptosis and other changes. Through incremental discoveries, the group found that human PCP is cured by the combination of a form of vitamin A and the long-used drug primaquine. While working on PCP Ms. Durant also earned a Masters in Journalism from Indiana University.
More recently, Ms. Durant was part of a lab directed by Dan Rusyniak, MD; they focused on understanding the neurobiology of thermoregulation, and the effects of psychostimulant drugs such as amphetamines like MDMA (ecstasy) and methamphetamine. Her lab duties decreased as Dr. Rusyniak realized that she was more valuable to him and the Dept. of Emergency Medicine editing and writing. Besides helping create a departmental newsletter, she provided valuable services for many faculty members by collecting references and editing: manuscripts, experimental and animal protocols, grant applications, NIH biosketches, CVs, abstracts, and posters for presentation at medical conferences.
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