We are interested in unraveling the mechanisms that viruses use to take control of infected cells and in particular reprogram host gene expression to promote the viral life cycle.
The infectious agent at the centers of our studies are an AIDS-related pathogen, Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), which causes Kaposi’s sarcoma and aggressive lymphomas, and the ubiquitous influenza A virus. Kaposi’s sarcoma remains the major cause of cancer-related death in parts of Africa and there are no targeted therapies for this disease. Influenza A virus infections affect 5-15% of the world-wide population yearly, with up to half a million deaths per year. Vaccines and therapeutic options are still only partly effective.
Understanding the biology of KSHV and influenza A virus will help in the design new therapeutic strategies. Also, studying the complex interaction of viral and cellular factors allows us to probe the normal working of the cell and uncover fundamental new aspects of gene regulation.