Talk Title: "Ebola Virus Maturation: Interactions and Interventions"
Ronald Harty (University of Pennsylvania)
My laboratory is focused mainly on the molecular events that lead to virus assembly and budding. Our model virus systems include vesicular stomatitis virus (a rhabdovirus that causes disease in bovine and equine species), and the filoviruses Ebola and Marburg (emerging, zoonotic pathogens and potential agents of bioterrorism). Our studies are focused on the viral matrix proteins which are the major building blocks of the virus and function to direct virion assembly and budding. We are particularly interested in understanding how these viral matrix proteins interact with host proteins to facilitate the budding process. We are also interested in the host innate immune response to virus infection, and identifying antivirals that can inhibit egress and spread of filoviruses and rhabdoviruses. A second area of study is to utilize reverse-genetics to generate and recover VSV recombinants expressing the surface gB protein of HSV-1 for use in studies to dissect the structure and function of gB during virus-cell fusion. My lab utilizes a wide-array of techniques for these studies such as, virus-like particle (VLP) budding assays, reverse-genetics to generate VSV recombinants, bimolecular complementation, ubiquitination and ISGylation assays, and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM).