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Center for Infection and Immunity Distinguished Lecture Series: Anatomy of Viral Persistence

Friday, April 19, 2013 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Columbia University Medical Center Mailman School of Public Health Allan Rosenfield Bldg, 8th Floor Auditorium

Anatomy of Viral Persistence

Michael B.A. Oldstone, M.D.
The Scripps Research Institute
Professor, Immunology and Microbial Science

Viruses persist by two basic tactics. First, they possess replication strategies that permit their residence in cells without lysing them or that allow for integration into the host's genetic apparatus. Second, viruses employ a series of actions that dampen the host's immune response, thereby escaping detection and avoiding elimination. Utilizing lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus as an experimental model of persistent viral infection, we uncovered cellular relationships and interactions that drive the infection to a persistent state. This includes host proteins, like IL-10, PD-1, and interferon type I, which are utilized by viruses to initiate and maintain the persistent infection. Oldstone's studies uncovered immune targets for therapeutic interventions that successfully treat persistent infections.

Michael B.A. Oldstone is head of the Viral-Immunobiology Laboratory and the Pathogenesis Affinity Group at The Scripps Research Institute. His scientific work is located at the interface of virology and immunology, with studies that primarily use negative-strand RNA viruses, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, measles, and influenza. The fruits of his work have lead to national and international prizes. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.