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NameEmailPhD ProgramResearch InterestPublications
Damania, Blossom
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Genetics & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Signaling, Pathogenesis & Infection, Translational Medicine, Virology

The work in our laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), an oncogenic human virus. KSHV is associated with several types of cancer in the human population. We study the effect of KSHV viral proteins on cell proliferation, transformation, apoptosis, angiogenesis and cell signal transduction pathways. We also study viral transcription factors, viral replication, and the interactions of KSHV with the human innate immune system. Additionally, we are developing drug therapies that curb viral replication and target tumor cells.

Burch, Christina
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Biology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Computational Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Genomics, Virology

Experimental Evolution of Viruses. We use both computational and experimental approaches to understand how viruses adapt to their host environment. Our research attempts to determine how genome complexity constrains adaptation, and how virus ecology and genetics interact to determine whether a virus will shift to utilizing new host. In addition, we are trying to develop a framework for predicting which virus genes will contribute to adaptation in particular ecological scenarios such as frequent co-infection of hosts by multiple virus strains. For more information, and for advice on applying to graduate school at UNC, check out my lab website www.unc.edu/~cburch/lab.

Heise, Mark
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Genetics & Molecular Biology, Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Genetics, Immunology, Molecular Biology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Virology

We study alphavirus infection to model virus-induced disease.  Projects include 1) mapping viral determinants involved in encephalitis, and 2) using a mouse model of virus-induced arthritis to identify viral and host factors associated with disease.

Jaspers, Ilona
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology, Toxicology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Immunology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Toxicology, Translational Medicine, Virology

Research in my lab focuses on the mechanisms by which exposure to air pollutants alters respiratory immune responses and modifies susceptibility to and the severity of respiratory virus infections. Specifically, we are examining the effects of air pollutants such as ozone, woodsmoke and tobacco product exposures on host defense responses and influenza virus infections, using several in vitro models of the respiratory epithelium. In collaboration with physician scientists, we are also translating these studies into humans in vivo.

Kafri, Tal
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Genetics, Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Virology

Our lab is focused on the development of HIV-1 vectors for gene therapy of genetic disease.  In addition, we are using the vector system to study HIV-1 biology.  We are also interested in utilizing the HIV-1 vector system for functional genomics.

Margolis, David
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Molecular Biology, Molecular Medicine, Pathogenesis & Infection, Translational Medicine, Virology

The overall goal of our laboratory is to obtain new insights into the host-virus interaction, particularly in HIV infection, and translate discoveries in molecular biology and virology to the clinic to aid in the treatment of HIV infection. A subpopulation of HIV-infected lymphocytes is able to avoid viral or immune cytolysis and return to the resting state. Current work focuses on the molecular mechanisms that control the latent reservoir of HIV infection within resting T cells. We have found that cellular transcription factors widely distributed in lymphocytes can remodel chromatin and maintain quiescence of the HIV genome in resting CD4+ lymphocytes. These studies give insight into the basic molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic gene expression, as well as new therapeutic approaches for HIV infection.

Meeker, Rick
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Neuroscience

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Pharmacology, Virology

Dr. Meeker’s research is focused on the mechanisms of HIV neuropathogenesis and the development of therapeutic strategies for the treatment of neuroinflammation. Inflammatory changes within the brain caused by the viral infection initiate a toxic cascade that disrupts normal neural function and can eventually lead to neuronal death. To explore the mechanisms responsible for this damage, we investigate changes in calcium homeostasis, glutamate receptor function and inflammatory responses in primary neuronal, microglial and macrophage cultures. New therapeutic approaches targeted to signal transduction pathways and calcium regulation that protect the neurons and reduce inflammation are under investigation.

Moody, Cary
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology, Oral & Craniofacial Biomedicine

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Immunology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Virology

Our lab focuses on the life cycle of cancer-associated human papillomaviruses (HPV); small DNA viruses that exhibit a strict tropism for the epithelium. Several studies in our lab focus on the interface of HPV with cellular DNA damage response (DDR) pathways and how HPV manipulates DNA repair pathways to facilitate viral replication. We are also interested in understanding how the viral life cycle is epigenetically regulated by the DDR as well as by other chromatin modifiers. Additionally, we are investigating how HPV regulates the innate immune response throughout the viral life cycle.

Moorman, Nat
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Cancer Biology, Cell Biology, Cell Signaling, Molecular Biology, Virology

How does a virus gain control over the host cell? My laboratory is interested in answering this question at the molecular level. By combining molecular biology and virology with new technologies (e.g. mass spectrometry, next generation sequencing), we investigate the mechanisms utilized by viruses to hijack infected cells. By understanding the specific function(s) of viral proteins during infection, we identify strategies used by viruses for deregulation of host cell processes. We use this information to characterize novel features of cell signaling pathways during infection, and to identify potential targets for anti-viral therapeutics.

Pickles, Raymond J.
WEBSITE
EMAIL
PUBLICATIONS

PHD PROGRAM
Microbiology & Immunology

RESEARCH INTEREST
Immunology, Pathogenesis & Infection, Physiology, Virology

My laboratory, located in the Cystic Fibrosis/Pulmonary Research and Treatment Center in the Thurston-Bowles building at UNC, is interested in how respiratory viruses infect the airway epithelium of the conducting airways of the human lung.