Jesse Summers

The University of New Mexico

Election Year: 2001
Primary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

My interests include the mechanisms of infection, spread, replication, pathogenesis, and clearance of hepadnavirus infections. This family of viruses causes persistent infection of hepatocytes, maintained by a small number of viral DNA episomes in the nuclei of infected cells. Viral episomes produce new DNA copies in the cytoplasm by reverse transcription of an RNA form of the genome, and these DNA genomes are persistently secreted into the blood as enveloped infectious viruses. I have developed and used two animal virus models of the human hepatitis B virus for my studies: the woodchuck hepatitis virus, and the duck hepatitis B virus. My current research aims to describe hepadnavirus infection in these animal models at the level of the individual cell, and to follow viral and cell dynamics during chronic infection, during the emergence of variants, and during the clearance of acute infections.

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