Professor, Chair, and Distinguished Educator of Microbiology and Immunology
GRADUATE PROGRAM AFFILIATIONS:
Cell and Molecular Biology, MD/PhD Degree Program, Microbiology and Immunology
Ph.D., Syracuse University, 1968
Postdoctoral Training, Baylor College of Medicine, 1968-1970
Over the past several years our laboratory has conducted studies on the biochemical properties of selected herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoproteins and tegument proteins towards defining their functional roles in virus replication and assembly. It is generally believed that HSV obtains its final envelope by budding into the trans-Golgi network of the host cell. However, the specific viral as well as cellular proteins involved in this process are largely unknown. The overall objective of our ongoing studies is to define the role HSV tegument and integral membrane proteins play in the envelopment/budding process. The working hypothesis for our studies is that one or more specific tegument proteins are major participants in the initiation of the envelopment process. It is also part of the working hypothesis that enveloped viruses in general (including retroviruses) are likely to use similar mechanisms to initiate envelopment. A unique aspect of our studies on HSV envelopment is that the budding of retroviruses is providing a useful model for certain aspects of our experimental approach. Therefore, the expertise and experience of two laboratories within our Department, that of Dr. Courtney?s (HSV tegument proteins and glycoproteins) and of Dr. Wills? (molecular mechanisms of retrovirus budding), are contributing in a team approach to address the challenging aspects of herpesvirus envelopment. Studies already completed have dissected targeting domains of certain tegument proteins to provide new insight as to what controls their localization within the cell.