Adjunct Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
Area of Interest
I study the role of the Epstein-Barr Virus in cancer with special focus on nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinoma. Our previous studies discovered a family of highly spliced RNAs that had not been identified in transformed lymphocytes. We determined that these RNAs were the template for 44 miRNA within the introns. We went on to show that the spliced forms remained in the nucleus and function as long non coding RNAs. We have now determined that during growth of EBV infected cell lines as tumors in SCID mice only these RNAS are expressed. Additionally these RNAS have transforming abilities in cultured cells. Future studies will focus on these properties. Additionally we have shown that EBV infected cells produce exosomes that transfer viral proteins and RNAS. We are interested in determining how these exosomes influence HPV infected cells.
Awards and Honors
- Norma Berryhill Distinguished Lecture, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2022
- National Cancer Advisory Board