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Sun Hur is seeking to reveal underlying principles of innate immunity that allow the body to detect and respond to invading pathogens. Specifically, Hur and her team are investigating how the vertebrate immune system discriminates between self and non-self on the basis of RNA structure and modifications. Using structural and biochemical approaches, the team focuses on immune receptors and modulators in antiviral innate immune response. The team also investigates other nucleic acid biology, such as transcriptional reprogramming and post-transcriptional regulation, during development and maturation of the vertebrate immune system. Their work has implications for better understanding and treating viral infections and other diseases, such as autoimmune-based inflammatory disorders and cancer.