My research focuses on the interactions between RNA viruses and their hosts. For successful replication, RNA viruses must avoid the many RNA degradation pathways that exist inside their host cells. One pathway in particular, nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) is a pathway designed to protect our cells from expressing potentially harmful proteins from faulty mRNA transcripts. Nearly one-third of all genetic diseases and cancers have been associated with nonsense mutations, making NMD an important pathway in human disease research. Viruses are also targeted by NMD and have likely evolved to circumvent this pathway. My current projects focus on how model plant RNA viruses evade the NMD pathway to support successful replication and I am also interested in identifying novel antiviral components of cellular RNA degradation pathways. This work has the potential to transform our understanding of virus-host interactions as well as provide a better understanding of the NMD pathway.
Cell Biology & Biophysics
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