Our lab is interested in how large DNA viruses from the herpesvirus family exploit microtubules and microtubule regulatory proteins to infect and replicate in cells. We are particularly interested in the the roles played by specialized microtubule plus-end binding proteins, otherwise known as +TIPs. We focus on two very different herpesvirus family members; Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a fast-replicating neurotropic virus that causes cold sores, keratitis and encephalopathy. By contrast, Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a slow-replicating virus that extensively remodels the host cell over the course of its replication cycle and is a leading cause of congenital birth defects.
We study the dynamic events underlying virus infection, including microtubule behavior and +TIP plus-end tracking, virus particle motility and broader changes in cellular organization during infection using a variety of live cell imaing approaches.