Research Interests:Our laboratory studies signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis and has pioneered the application of antisense chemotherapy to the control of virus infections. Current studies focus on the use of a HSV-2 gene with serine-threonine protein kinase function (ICP10 PK) that activates the ERK signaling pathway in gene therapy of neurological disorders that involve apoptosis. We cloned a cellular gene (H11) homologous to ICP10 PK that codes for a heat shock protein and showed that its overexpression causes apoptosis in melanoma cells. Ongoing studies are focused on understanding the molecular mechanism of H11 induced apoptosis, its regulation and its role in melanoma development. Additional interests are in the molecular and immunological aspects of HSV-associated erythema multiforme, a recurrent cutaneous disease that follows HSV recurrences. Our laboratory developed an immunotherapeutic vaccine that prevents HSV recurrences and is currently in clinical trials.
Research Images:Tumor cells induced to express wild type H11 (red stain in the cytoplasm)undergo apoptosis (green nuclear stain).
Lab Techniques and Equipment:We utilize a wide spectrum of molecular and cellular biology, virology and immunology techniques, including gene cloning, site-directed, deletion and insertion mutagenesis, gene expression, gene arrays, differential gene expression, yeast-two hybrid assays, promoter studies, cell proliferation and apoptosis assays, development of virus vectors and vaccines and T cell assays.
Recent Ph.D. Students
Recent Postdoctoral Trainees
* M. Sc., Tel-Aviv University, Israel
* PhD., Johns Hopkins University, USA