Bennett is interested in understanding host-pathogen interactions that define clearance or persistence of infection and disease. In particular Bennett has been investigating how antiviral CD8 T cells mediate persistent alphavirus infection in mice. In addition to defining CD8 T cell responses to alphavirus infection, Bennett also has a strong interest in the development of prophylactic and therapeutic immunization strategies that can enhance adaptive immunity to virus infection that include alphaviruses, and more recently coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. In addition to studies aimed at understanding adaptive immune responses to alphavirus infection and development of antiviral therapeutic and immunization platforms, Bennett also investigates Leishmania immunopathogenesis in mice, in particular the dynamic interplay between parasite anti-host mechanisms that promote establishment and persistence of infection, as well as the host anti-parasite responses that influence resolution of parasitic infection.
In addition to pursuing his own investigative goals, Bennett also values his role as a teacher and trainer within the Morrison Laboratory, working collaboratively with other members in the lab to promote their research goals, training graduate students as they work hard to begin their thesis projects, and working closely in collaborations with other laboratories on the Anschutz Medical Campus and other institutions across the country. Bennett has also put forth efforts to deploy state-of-the-art methodologies in the Morrison Laboratory such as spectral flow cytometry, 10x genomics single cell RNA sequencing, BSL3 flow cytometry cell sorting, and Mesoscale multiplex cytokine assays. Bennett also is proud to acknowledge his teammates in the Morrison Laboratory for their vital contributions to his work, as the Morrison Laboratory is highly skilled, experienced, supportive, and collaborative amongst all members of the team.
In his free time, Bennett loves to spend time with his family and their doggies. Mountain biking is perhaps a center piece of Bennett’s extracurricular activities and he is always looking to swap biking stories with other avid cyclists in the Morrison Laboratory. Bennett loves being outdoors, whether it is biking, hiking, paddle boarding or working hard each summer growing his vegetable garden.