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Jason W. Rausch, Ph.D.

Portait Photo of Jason Rausch
HIV DRP Retroviral Replication Laboratory
RT Biochemistry Section
Staff Scientist
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 535, Room 325
P.O. Box B
Frederick, MD 21702-1201



1990 B.S. (Biology, minor in Mathematics) Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

1997 Ph.D. (Biochemistry) Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

2002 B.S. (Computer and Information Science, with certificates in UNIX System Administration and Database Design) University of Maryland, University College, Adelphi, Maryland


The principal focus of my research has been to use various tools of biochemistry, molecular biology, and computer modeling to understand the interaction between/among retroviral enzymes (reverse transcriptase, integrase) and structural proteins (nucleocapsid, gag) and their nucleic acid substrates. In particular, I have developed a number of in vitro assays utilizing substrates containing nucleoside analogs (e.g., difluorotoluene, iso-guanosine, 2-amino-adenosine, etc.) and purified recombinant enzymes to study how HIV-1 reverse transcripase specifically recognizes its cognate primer for plus-strand DNA synthesis, the HIV-1 polypurine tract (PPT). I am currently also using related methodologies to explore the mechanism(s) by which the ubiquitous cellular enzyme APOBEC3G, an HIV restriction factor, catalyzes cytidine deamination within select target sequences in single-stranded viral DNA. Finally, I have recently received a 2007 NCI Director's Career Development Innovation Award for my application entitled 'Evolving Sequence-Specific Integrases and Methyltransferases by In Vitro Compartmentalization.' With these funds, I plan to use novel directed evolution techniques to help improve the target-specificity of retroviral gene therapy vectors, as well as tools useful for epigenetics research pertaining to cytosine methylation.

This page was last updated on 7/11/2013.