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Alexis Santana


Alexis Santana 

PhD Student in the Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology  

Synopsis: Herpesviruses support two modes of infection: Lytic replication and latency. Gammaherpesviruses (γHV) establish latency in B lymphocytes and their latent programs are associated with the development of lymphomas. Investigating the role of both virus and host determinants in promoting the establishment and reactivation from latency is an important area of investigation for the γHV. The human γHV, Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), co-opt host NF-κB signaling pathways to promote latency establishment, virus gene regulation and cell survival. Disruption of the NF-κB signaling pathway poses a potential therapeutic target as it induces the apoptosis of EBV+ and KSHV+ lymphomas in culture and delays tumor progression of these cells in mice. Our laboratory made similar observations for murine γHV 68 (MHV68) latently infected B cells.The purpose of my project is to define the importance of this virus-host interaction in promoting B cell latency during γHV infection.


Biography:  Alexis graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology. As an undergraduate, her involvement in the CSTEP community helped her to identify an interest in scientific research. She joined the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology PhD program at Stony Brook University in 2008 as a NSF-Bridge to the Doctorate Fellow. In 2013, she won a Turner Dissertation Fellowship. 



Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM



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