Viral infections in the hearts of very young children are significantly more severe and deadly than when they occur in adults. The reasons for this remain poorly understood. My lab studies how the body’s mechanisms to fight viral infections in the heart differ between children and adults. We believe that inefficient defenses during childhood may explain the differences in the outcome of pediatric and adult infections. Characterizing the defense systems of the heart cells and immune cells involved in fighting these viruses can lead to the development of treatments that may help reduce the severity of heart infections in children.