Viruses reshape the intracellular environment during infection, both to hijack processes necessary for viral amplification and to subvert antiviral defenses. Because of size constraints and competition with their hosts for resources, they have developed ingenious ways to benefit from the host gene expression machinery. As such, viruses are excellent tool to understand cell biology. Herpesviruses are a particularly good example of such successful balance as herpesvirus infections are life-long and cannot be cleared by the host. We focus on the Gamma-herpesviruses and in particular, KSHV (Kaposi Sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus). We are especially interested in understanding how these viruses induce major changes in mRNA stability during infection, as well as how the host cell reacts to the viral takeover.
Research interests - short:
Herpesviruses, Viral-Host Interplay, RNA Biology