Viral Oncology Section

Overview

The Viral Oncology Section studies the role of viruses in cancer, focusing primarily on Kaposi’s sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and related malignancies. Our research encompasses epidemiology, molecular virology, immunology, and translational studies. 

Focus

KSHV epidemiology and transmission 

  • Investigate how epidemiology of KSHV is evolving as the HIV epidemic changes. 
  • Study environmental risk factors for KSHV transmission and acquisition. 
  • Focus on three established longitudinal cohorts:  
    • The Ugandan General Population Cohort 
    • The Entebbe Mother and Baby cohort in rural Uganda 
    • The AIDS Clinical Trials Group–sponsored ACTG Longitudinal Linked Randomized Trials Cohort 

KSHV immunity and pathogenesis 

  • Investigate the range of immune responses to KSHV and how they influence transmission, disease risk, and progression. 
  • Perform systematic studies of the serological responses to the entire KSHV proteome. 
  • Perform systematic studies of cellular immune responses to the entire KSHV proteome. 

Viral and host genetics in KSHV infection and disease 

  • Study the potential role of genetic variation in human genes involved in virus–cell interactions and antiviral immunity. 
  • Study whole genome sequencing of KSHV using next- generation sequencing in diverse populations.