Print by Debbie Covarrubias
picture of student examining plaque assay
picture of lab solutions
Puerto Vallarta Beach
Glaunsinger lab-2014


The Glaunsinger lab studies the creative strategies viruses use to manipulate gene expression in host cells.  Our focus is RNA-based regulation of gene expression, particularly at the level of RNA turnover.  We are interested in viral factors that directly target RNA, as well as how viruses interface with and usurp cellular pathways to control gene expression.  We primarily study gammaherpesviruses, including Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, which is a major cause of AIDS-associated cancers. We anticipate that these studies will enhance our understanding of virus-host interactions, as well as provide insight into how gene expression pathways are normally regulated in human cells.

Research Highlight

J Virol cover picture
Co-infection of cells with two different viruses can alter the life cycle trajectory of each virus. Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a prominent AIDS-associated pathogen. Previous studies have shown that infection of cells containing HIV-1 with KSHV leads to potent stimulation of HIV-1 gene expression by activating the HIV-1 promoter. John Karijolich explored how this activation occurs, and found that the KSHV protein ORF45 strongly induces transcription from the HIV-1 LTR. ORF45 is known to induce cell signaling through ribosomal S6 kinase (RSK) and enhance protein translation. However, John revealed that activation of a specific isoform of RSK by ORF45 also leads to increased messenger RNA synthesis. His findings provide new insight into the inter-viral interactions between KSHV and HIV that may ultimately impact disease.

TWiV Comes to Berkeley!

TWiV logo
Vincent Racaniello, the host of the awesome This Week in Virology (TWiV) podcast, visited UC Berkeley! Check out the live podcast at the Microbiology Student Symposium featuring our research~

We've Moved!

Li Ka Shing Building photo
Our lab is now located in the UC Berkeley Li Ka Shing Center for Biomedical Sciences, on a floor dedicated to infectious disease research. Check out our awesome new space, which includes amazing views of the bay and the beautiful Berkeley campus!
Subscribe to Front page feed