Our laboratory takes molecular approaches to protein function and gene regulation during herpesvirus replication and latency. We conduct these studies to provide excellent models for biological processes in eukaryotic cells and, because herpesviruses are important pathogens, to exploit differences between herpesvirus and cellular processes for safe and effective antiviral therapy.
Areas of research include:
Post-transcriptional regulation and latency: We are studying post-transcriptional regulation of herpes simplex virus genes, including how host and viral microRNAs regulate the virus and vice-versa, and translational regulation.
Herpesvirus DNA replication proteins: These proteins are both antiviral drug targets and prototypes for human replication proteins. We are currently focusing on determining 3-D structures of these proteins in complex with replication templates (with the Abraham lab), and studying mechanisms of drugs that inhibit the viral polymerases.
Drug targets and nuclear egress: Aside from our studies of herpesvirus DNA replication proteins. we are studying the human cytomegalovirus protein kinase that phosphorylates ganciclovir and is inhibited by maribavir, and promotes nuclear egress. We are also studying the two-subunit nuclear egress complex as a potential target for new antivirals.