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Research Focus

Featured Faculty


Peter Medveczky, MD

  • We are virologists and molecular biologists interested in oncogenic and neurotropic herpesviruses. These large DNA viruses cause cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Project 1 involves experiments on the Kaposi's sarcoma Associated Herpesvirus (KSHV) related to latency and oncogenic transformation. In this context we also study the role of marijuanas major compound THC and its receptors in modulation of oncogenic herpesviruses. Project is funded by a 5 year NIH grant.

  • Project 2 is molecular biology of the viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6) of KSHV that is possibly involved in the oncogenic transformation process. Funding is pending.

  • Project 3 Identification novel oncogenic viruses in AIDS lymphomas (50% has no known etiology). Funding is pending.

  • Project 4 Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) is implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (M.S.). Recent data show that variant HHV-6A infected marmosets develop an MS-like disease but variant B infected animals remain healthy suggesting that variant A virus encodes specific genes responsible for this phenotype. About 65 genes of the two variant genomes are highly homologous; however, about 15 genes show significant sequence divergence. Currently we are developing a system to identify genes of interest e.g. involved in neurotropism and M.S. Funded by a small grant and other grants are pending.

  • Project 5 HHV-6 is a unique human virus as we discovered that its genome integrates into telomeres of human chromosomes. We have identified families with integrated HHV-6 in chromosomes 17 and 18. These patients are diagnosed with various CNS conditions and show weakened immune responses.


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Post Docs


Joshus Radke

Postdoctoral Scholar Research, NON USF HEALTH
  • Research in the White lab is focused on the malaria-related protzoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. T.gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes severe disease in people with underdeveloped or compromised immune systems. Toxoplasmosis can be a lethal infection for people with AIDS, those undergoing chemotherapy and recent transplant recipients. Pathogenesis in this disease is the result of uncontrolled parasite growth in conjunction with significant tissue damage and inflammation. Given that parasite growth and division is critical to disease, it is important to understand the mechanisms that regulate the progression through the parasite cell cycle. Approximately ~2500 mRNAs show cyclic patterns of expression during parasite division, however, the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate periodic gene expression are largely uncharacterized. The recent discovery of a class of plant-like transcription factors in Apicomplexa has revealed an important set of proteins that play a critical role in parasite development and division.
  • My project centers on the characterization of these plant-like transcription factors, specifially those that lie in S-phase of the cell division cycle, a very critical and unique step in these parasites. What these factors regulate and how they are regulated is critical to our understanding of the progression of the cell division cycle in Toxoplasma gondii.