Douglas R. Lowy

National Institutes of Health


Election Year: 2009
Primary Section: 41, Medical Genetics, Hematology, and Oncology
Secondary Section: 44, Microbial Biology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

My research includes papillomaviruses and the regulation of normal and neoplastic growth.  In the 1980s, I was involved in characterizing the genetic organization of papillomaviruses and identifying the viral oncogenes.  More recently, I have worked on HPV vaccines and the viral life cycle.  My lab was involved in the initial development, characterization, and clinical testing of the preventive virus-like particle-based HPV vaccines, versions of which have been licensed by the FDA.  We are currently working to develop a second generation HPV vaccine that, if successful, might prevent almost all HPV infections.  We have also determined that HPVs have a unique life cycle, with the initial steps taking place on the basement membrane that separates the dermis and epithelium, before the virus transfers to the epithelial cell.  My growth regulation research has included prior studies establishing the importance of the ras gene family in cancer and their mechanism of action.  It is now focused primarily on the DLC family of tumor suppressor genes, the pathways that regulate them, and those that they regulate.  This work shows bidrectional regulation between DLC and two proteins implicated in integrin activation, tensin and talin.

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