The Institute for Molecular Virology was established in 1964 to provide a unique faculty and special facilities for research and teaching in molecular virology, viral oncology, and cancer biology.
The Institute's research programs utilize DNA tumor viruses and retroviruses as models to understand the molecular basis of cancer and AIDS, and the function of cells at the molecular level.
Faculty members of the Institute teach postdoctoral and medical students in their specialties, participate in the Advanced Tumor Virology course, and are participants in the Core Graduate Training Program in Biomedical Sciences.
Research efforts are founded on understanding:
- the mechanism of cell transformation and growth control by DNA tumor viruses and retroviruses,
- the molecular mechanism involved in HIV-1 gene expression,
- the regulation of eukaryotic cell proliferation by oncoproteins,
- and the molecular biology of eukaryotic cells.
Specific research programs include studies on:
- the molecular mechanisms of human adenovirus- induced cell transformation;
- the regulation of viral genes, and the organization and functions of viral oncoproteins;
- the molecular mechanism involved in the regulation of human immunodeficiency virus;
- the mechanism of retrovirus integration; the mechanism of HIV-1-induced T cell destruction and HIV-1 pathogenesis;
- regulation of viral mRNA export in complex retroviruses;
- and the development of viral vectors for human gene therapy.
Recombinant DNA and genetic engineering methods are emphasized in these investigations.
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