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NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Nebraska Center for Virology
University of Nebraska, Lincoln PI: Peter Angeletti
I love science and art (and to mix them)
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a double stranded DNA virus that infects human keratinocytes of the skin or mucous membranes. Long-term persistence of the high risk HPV16, is known to cause precancerous lesions and invasive cancer. The HPV viral genome is maintained in the host cell as a nuclear plasmid and its maintenance has been thought to be exclusively dependent on viral proteins. However, recent work in mammalian cells has shown that viral proteins are dispensable for HPV replication and/or maintenance, suggesting a role for host factors. In our laboratory, we previously showed that HPV16, containing a Ura3 marker, can replicate autonomously the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and that it does so independently viral proteins. As most cellular processes involved in DNA replication and segregation are well conserved from yeast to humans, we are utilizing yeast as genetic model to elucidate host factors responsible for episomal persistence of HPV.
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