Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Derek Walsh Lab

Herpesviruses & Cellular Remodeling

We are interested in how large DNA viruses from the herpesvirus family exploit microtubules and microtubule regulatory proteins to infect and replicate in cells. 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, virus particle motility and broader changes in cellular organization and nuclear polarity during infection using a variety of live cell imaing approaches, as well as Deep Learning-based image analysis pipelines.

dev cell

Our work on HCMV featured on the cover of Developmental Cell; See Procter et al, Dev Cell 2018