When it was established in 1981, the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology (LMM) investigated the structure, function, and regulation of a diverse group of microorganisms including RNA and DNA viruses, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, and mycoplasmas. Currently, the main focus of LMM scientists is murine (e.g., murine leukemia virus) and primate retroviruses (e.g., HIV, simmune immunodeficiency virus, and human T-lymphotropic virus), with the principal area of research activity involving HIV-1. Fundamental investigations of viral gene regulation, protein structure and function, and particle assembly are integrated with studies of the determinants of immunologic protection against HIV and viral pathogenesis.
Major Areas of Research
- Studies of the synthesis, processing, and assembly of retroviral encoded proteins into progeny virions
- Exploration of the structure and function relationship of retroviral accessory proteins synthesized during productive and chronic viral infections
- Understanding the regulation of retroviral gene activity and how viral encoded proteins dysregulate normal cellular processes
- Development of animal models for investigations of viral pathogenesis, the identification of potentially useful antiviral agents, and the development of protective vaccines