Virology, Immunology, Cancer and Cell Biology
Structural model of actin showing the positions of the amino acids that are altered in families with Dominant Progressive Deafness (K. Friderici, PhD)
Exciting research in the department delves into the basis of gene expression and signaling mechanisms in the host response to infection (immunology) and to factors involved in the development of cancer.
Virologists in the department are studying the power of innate host resistance to HIV viral infection, inate immunity to adenoviral agents and the mechanisms of oncogenesis induced by viral infection. Natural Killer cells are under investigation for their role in immune surveilence and immune regulation.
Other research involves the regulation of gene expression associated with immune mediated inflammation in response to infection and in the vascular inflammatory response found in diabetes. Faculty are studying the gene expression and other factors leading to autoimmunity.
Molecular methods are used to ferret out the details of signaling pathways and downstream transcription factors that are critical to immune responses or to the development of cancer. Research is performed on the molecular mechanisms of regulation of oncogenesis and the cell cycle in breast cancer.