Basic mechanisms of healthy cell transformation into cancer cells during viral oncogenesisDate Added: 5/11/2010 4:18:00 PM
Last Updated: 5/25/2010 11:53:00 AM
Description of projects available to graduate students:
Our laboratory performs basic and applied research on viral oncogenesis with efforts focused in the following three areas.
1. Merkel cell carcinoma and Merkel cell polyomavirus. We recently discovered a new human polyomavirus, that we call Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV). This virus is etiologically associated with a rare, but one of the most clinically aggressive skin cancers in humans. We are currently involved in the primary characteristics of this virus including transcript mapping, transforming properties, origin replication, transmission, and seroepidemiologic studies.
2. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. We are investigating biologic properties of KSHV, the eighth human herpesvirus, also identified in our laboratory. KSHV causes Kaposi’s sarcoma, the most common AIDS-associated malignancy as well as a B-cell lymphoma. Through extensive molecular piracy, the virus has incorporated numerous genes which affect cell proliferation pathways, apoptosis, cell cycle regulation and immune modulation.
3. New Pathogen Discovery. We continue to be interested in the search for new pathogens in human diseases and have developed new methodologies, which utilize information gained from the Human Genome Project, as well as advanced sequencing technologies.
Check our website at http://www.tumorvirology.pitt.edu
Techniques graduate student will learn:
Western blotting, electromobility shift assays, FACS, Affymetrix microarray, Luciferase reporter assays, transient transfection studies, Southern and norther blotting, real-time PCR, stable transfection studies, Stable and transient gene expression in knockout cell lines, RNAi
Molecular Virology And Microbiology
Cellular And Molecular Pathology
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