VZV Research Laboratory

Lab head: Dr Allison Abendroth
Location: Blackburn Building D06 Camperdown

The effect of varicella zoster virus infection on IFN gamma responses

Primary supervisor: Allison Abendroth

Varicella zoster virus employs many immune evasion strategies to ensure successful infection within the host (Abendroth et al., 2010).It has been shown that VZV infected cells prevent IFN-gamma driven expression of MHC-II molecules on human fibroblasts by affecting the JAK/STAT signalling pathway. The gene product/s responsible and their mechanisms of action however have not yet been identified.

Using reporter constructs expressing luciferase or GFP which are driven by a gamma activated sequence (GAS) together with constructs expressing individual VZV ORFs we aim to identify VZV gene products which affect IFN-gamma signalling and then characterise their mechanisms of action.

This project will involve a wide variety of molecular and cell biology techniques including mammalian cell culture, virus culture, cell infection, DNA transfection, Western blotting, multi-colour flow cytometry, immunofluorescent staining and confocal microscopy.

Discipline: Infectious diseases and Immunology
Co-supervisors: Barry Slobedman, Megan Steain
Keywords: Varicella zoster virus, Immunology, Virology