Retroviral Replication Laboratory

Chief
Stephen H. Hughes, Ph.D.

The Retroviral Replication Laboratory (RRL) focuses on obtaining a detailed understanding of important events in the replication cycle of HIV-1, from the initial interactions between the virion and the host cell through reverse transcription and integration to mechanisms of virus assembly and release. The RRL conducts extensive research on the biochemistry and biology of viral replication, drug resistance, recombination, and the generation of mutations. Studies also include discovery, development, and mechanistic analysis of novel replication inhibitors, as well as the development and use of retroviral vectors.  The RRL also studies the antiviral innate immune response against a number of human pathogenic viruses, and investigates viral and host gene expression and posttranscriptional regulation by using papillomaviruses and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus as model viral systems.

The Retroviral Replication Laboratory (RRL) includes seven Sections:

The Vector Design and Replication Section, directed by Stephen H. Hughes, has a long-standing research program focused on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and has more recently been developing and testing novel inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase. Dr. Hughes has also recently made major advances in understanding the importance of clonal expansion of HIV-1-infected cells in patients on therapy.

The Retrovirus Assembly Section, led by Alan Rein, studies structure-function relationships in viral RNA and cellular defense mechanisms against retroviruses and other viral pathogens, focusing primarily on the roles of Gag protein elements, nucleic acids, and host factors in virus assembly.

The Virus-Cell Interaction Section, under the direction of Eric O. Freed, is well known for its work on HIV-1 Gag trafficking; virus assembly and release, and envelope glycoprotein incorporation into virions, with a focus on the host cell factors involved in these processes. This Section also has an interest in HIV-1 maturation, in particular with respect to developing inhibitors of maturation and understanding how they act.

The Viral Recombination Section, directed by Wei-Shau Hu, focuses on mechanisms used by HIV-1 to transfer its genetic information during replication, including RNA genome packaging, virus assembly, reverse transcription, and recombination. This Section combines imaging, virological, and biochemical approaches to study the biology of HIV-1 RNA including trafficking, translation, and packaging.  

The Viral Mutation Section, headed by Vinay K. Pathak, focuses on elucidating the early stage of HIV-1 replication, which include nuclear import, capsid disassembly, the timing and location of reverse transcription, intranuclear transport and localization, and integration site selection.  This section also focuses on the structure and function of Vif and host restriction APOBEC3 proteins, and development of lentiviral vectors for delivery of Vif-resistant APOBEC3 proteins to HIV-1 target cells as a gene therapy strategy for treatment and functional cure. 

The Antiviral Immunity and Resistance Section, led by Alex Compton, focuses on mechanisms of protection mediated by the cell-intrinsic innate immune response, as well as the strategies employed by HIV and emerging viruses to evade or overcome these immune barriers.

The research interests of the Tumor Virus RNA Biology Section, directed by Zhi-Ming (Thomas) Zheng, center on the RNA processing, RNA-protein interactions, and tumorigenesis of tumor viruses including high-risk human papillomaviruses and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.


There are no Open Positions at this time. Check back again later, or take a look at CCR's Careers page.


About

The Retroviral Replication Laboratory (RRL) focuses on obtaining a detailed understanding of important events in the replication cycle of HIV-1, from the initial interactions between the virion and the host cell through reverse transcription and integration to mechanisms of virus assembly and release. The RRL conducts extensive research on the biochemistry and biology of viral replication, drug resistance, recombination, and the generation of mutations. Studies also include discovery, development, and mechanistic analysis of novel replication inhibitors, as well as the development and use of retroviral vectors.  The RRL also studies the antiviral innate immune response against a number of human pathogenic viruses, and investigates viral and host gene expression and posttranscriptional regulation by using papillomaviruses and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus as model viral systems.

The Retroviral Replication Laboratory (RRL) includes seven Sections:

The Vector Design and Replication Section, directed by Stephen H. Hughes, has a long-standing research program focused on HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and has more recently been developing and testing novel inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase. Dr. Hughes has also recently made major advances in understanding the importance of clonal expansion of HIV-1-infected cells in patients on therapy.

The Retrovirus Assembly Section, led by Alan Rein, studies structure-function relationships in viral RNA and cellular defense mechanisms against retroviruses and other viral pathogens, focusing primarily on the roles of Gag protein elements, nucleic acids, and host factors in virus assembly.

The Virus-Cell Interaction Section, under the direction of Eric O. Freed, is well known for its work on HIV-1 Gag trafficking; virus assembly and release, and envelope glycoprotein incorporation into virions, with a focus on the host cell factors involved in these processes. This Section also has an interest in HIV-1 maturation, in particular with respect to developing inhibitors of maturation and understanding how they act.

The Viral Recombination Section, directed by Wei-Shau Hu, focuses on mechanisms used by HIV-1 to transfer its genetic information during replication, including RNA genome packaging, virus assembly, reverse transcription, and recombination. This Section combines imaging, virological, and biochemical approaches to study the biology of HIV-1 RNA including trafficking, translation, and packaging.  

The Viral Mutation Section, headed by Vinay K. Pathak, focuses on elucidating the early stage of HIV-1 replication, which include nuclear import, capsid disassembly, the timing and location of reverse transcription, intranuclear transport and localization, and integration site selection.  This section also focuses on the structure and function of Vif and host restriction APOBEC3 proteins, and development of lentiviral vectors for delivery of Vif-resistant APOBEC3 proteins to HIV-1 target cells as a gene therapy strategy for treatment and functional cure. 

The Antiviral Immunity and Resistance Section, led by Alex Compton, focuses on mechanisms of protection mediated by the cell-intrinsic innate immune response, as well as the strategies employed by HIV and emerging viruses to evade or overcome these immune barriers.

The research interests of the Tumor Virus RNA Biology Section, directed by Zhi-Ming (Thomas) Zheng, center on the RNA processing, RNA-protein interactions, and tumorigenesis of tumor viruses including high-risk human papillomaviruses and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus.

PI & Key Staff

Positions


There are no Open Positions at this time. Check back again later, or take a look at CCR's Careers page.


Contact Info

Retroviral Replication Laboratory
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Building 535, Room 308
Frederick, MD 21702-1201
Ph: 301-846-5943
Administrative Laboratory Manager
301-846-7633
Technical Laboratory Manager
301-846-1168
Program Assistant
301-846-5487