Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction

Researchers in this area are focused on signaling and transcriptional responses of cells to their environment and to microbial pathogens. Project examples include glucose-induced kinase responses in yeast, transcriptional responses of macrophages to cytokines and inflammation, Toll-like receptors and the innate immune response, and regulation of herpesvirus gene expresion.

DeLuca Lab 

Repression and activation of persisting HSV genomes: Herpes simplex virus can undergo either a productive infection, where all the viral genes are expressed culminating in the production of progeny virus and cell death, or it can enter a latent state, which is characterized by the relative lack of viral gene expression, genome persistence, and cell survival. Learn more>

Lee Lab

Our lab is studying the RNA-RNA based recruitment mechanism utilized in EBV in greater detail with the goal to extrapolate our findings to the host cell. Since viruses often adopt existing mechanisms from their hosts, our observation suggests that cellular ncRNAs might exist that use RNA-RNA interactions to guide transcription factors to their target sites. Learn more>

Khan Lab

We are involved in three main areas of research. The first one deals with the role of microRNAs in human papillomavirus-associated cervical and oral cancers as well as role of miRNAs in aging. The second area deals with the cellular functions and mechanism of action of the PcrA helicase which is specifically found in Gram-positive bacteria. The third area of our interest deals with a molecular analysis of the role of the RepX protein in the replication and segregation of the anthrax toxin-encoding pXO1 plasmid in Bacillus anthracis. Learn more>

Sarkar Lab

Innate immunity of an organism is the inborn protection against invading pathogens. Because it is inborn, and entrusted with the protection of host from a vast array of previously unknown invaders, the innate immune system generates a generalized alert response upon pathogen detection. This alert is chemically mediated by a class of molecules called Cytokines. Learn more>

Schmidt Lab

My lab studies the Snf1 kinase of yeast. The mammalian homologue of Snf1 is the AMP-activated protein kinase, an important therapeutic target for type II diabetes. Biochemical and genetic experiments have shown that Snf1 kinase is regulated by phosphorylation of the conserved threonine residue in the kinase activation loop. Learn more>

Xiao-Qu Lab

Our primary research interests include the study of signaling transduction pathways in immunity and tumorigenesis, particularly NF-kB, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying the type-1 human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I) mediated T cell transformation for disease prevention and therapeutic purposes. Learn more>

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Molecular Virology

Understanding the molecular basis of viral interactions with their hosts requires a more complete picture of virus structure and regulation at the molecular level. Groups in this focus area are investigating the regulation of viral gene expression, mechanisms of viral capsid assembly and DNA packaging, alterations in host cell signaling by HIV accessory factors, virus entry into host cells, as well as engineering viral vectors for the analysis of host cell function.

DeLuca Lab

Repression and activation of persisting HSV genomes: Herpes simplex virus can undergo either a productive infection, where all the viral genes are expressed culminating in the production of progeny virus and cell death, or it can enter a latent state, which is characterized by the relative lack of viral gene expression, genome persistence, and cell survival. Learn more>

Glorioso Lab

Dr. Glorioso’s most recent research has focused on (i) the design and application of HSV gene vectors for exploring the molecular events that occur in sensory afferents that are involved in the transition from acute to chronic pain. Learn more>

Homa Lab

Research in our lab is focused on understanding the mechanism of herpesvirus capsid assembly and DNA packaging.  Learn more>

Lakdawala Lab

Our lab studies the molecular properties contributing to the epidemiological success of influenza A viruses to better predict future pandemics. There are two main areas of research in my lab 1) exploring the intracellular dynamics of influenza viral RNA assembly and 2) defining the viral properties necessary for efficient airborne transmission of influenza viruses. Learn more>

Shair Lab

The Shair lab studies the molecular mechanisms of cancer induced by this latent virus with the purpose of defining how these mechanisms contribute to the oncogenic and metastatic properties of EBV-associated diseases. Learn more>

Xiao-Qu Lab

Our primary research interests include the study of signaling transduction pathways in immunity and tumorigenesis, particularly NF-kB, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying the type-1 human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I) mediated T cell transformation for disease prevention and therapeutic purposes. Learn more>

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Faculty

Our faculty provide outstanding mentoring to enable students and postdoctoral fellows learn how to identify and tackle critical biomedical research problems.

Alumni

After graduation, our graduate students move on to various careers. Some have opted for Academia, either at research or teaching Universities, while others have ventured into the growing biotechnology sector. Here is a listing of our recent graduates.

People

Welcome to the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (MMG) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine! Our Department has a long and distinguished history, with deep roots in microbiology, virology, biochemistry, and genetics.

Faculty

Microbiology and Molecular Genetics faculty members play a major role in teaching basic sciences to medical school students. Teaching and mentoring of PhD and MD/PhD students are at the heart of the department’s mission. Under the direction of MMG faculty, students and fellows consistently publish their research in outstanding journals, present their science at national and international conferences, and progress to positions at prestigious laboratories and institutions.

Meet our faculty>

Secondary and Adjunct Faculty

Secondary and adjunct appointments strengthen the quality of our research and provide collaborative research interactions with current MMG faculty members.

Meet our secondary and adjunct faculty>

Post-Docs/Research Associates

Post-doctoral Fellows and Research Associates are vital members of the MMG community.  Their scholarly research spans a variety of disciplines.  Significant contributions to the University’s research enterprise results from their expertise, diligence, and stellar performance. 

Meet our post-docs and research associates>

Research Staff

The daily routine and operation of the MMG research laboratories are managed by the highly competent lab staff.  The MMG laboratory managers, technicians, and specialists conduct detailed laboratory experiments to advance the goals of the scientists.

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Graduate Students

Graduate students in MMG are afforded the opportunity to work in strong and diverse research programs throughout the University’s School of Medicine. Interdisciplinary programs offer graduate training that cuts across disciplinary boundaries and prepares future scientist for the rapidly changing pace of modern biomedical science.

Meet our graduate students>

Administrative Staff 

The Administrative Staff team provides departmental support in the areas of human resources, information technology, grant submission, budget monitoring, and travel arrangements. The office is located in Room 523 Bridgeside Point II. 

Meet our staff>

Alumni

The faculty of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics are proud of the men and women who have become accomplished scientists as a result of their research and studies at Pitt. Congratulations to all those who have graduated and have pursued endeavors in research, industry, or teaching.

Meet our alumni>

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