Investigators in NYU Langone’s Wilson Lab aim to understand how herpesviruses regulate the transition between productive (lytic) replication and a state of long-term persistence known as latency. The ability of these sophisticated viruses to switch from one state to the other is key to their great potential as pathogens, as well as their remarkable success as infectious agents; herpesviruses are found in all vertebrates and even a few invertebrates.
During latency, herpesviruses hide in the nucleus of the host cell where they can minimize detection and clearance by host innate and adaptive immune defenses that will otherwise aggressively pursue and eliminate the unwelcome invader. Periodically, a latent virus will reactive and enter the lytic cycle, producing infectious progeny that spreads to new cells and to new hosts. Latent virus is often virtually impossible to clear (“like diamonds, herpes infections are forever”) and discovering how this latent-lytic switch is controlled at a molecular level remains one of the great challenges in virology.
There are eight herpesviruses that infect humans, and we have projects that study two of these: herpes simplex virus and Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus, each chosen because of their unique and interesting biologies and profound impact on human health.
Angus C. Wilson, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology
Assistant Dean, Research Laboratory Operations and Facilities
Medical Science Building, Room 210A
550 First Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Office Phone: 212-263-0206
Office Fax: 212-263-8276
Lab Phone: 212-263-0238
Lab Fax: 212-263-8276