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These Viruses Are Forever: Consequences of Retroviral DNA Integration to Aids and Evolution

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Speaker

John Coffin, PhD
Professor, Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Tufts University

John Coffin is an American Cancer Society Research Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. He also maintains a joint position as a special advisor at the NCI Center for Cancer Research at NCI. His research interests revolve around obtaining a better understanding of the interaction of retroviruses with their host cells and organisms. He uses simple retroviruses (avian and murine viruses) as well as HIV to elucidate the nature of the retrovirus-receptor interaction. His research interests revolve around obtaining a better understanding of the interaction of retroviruses with their host cells and organisms. He use simple retroviruses (avian and murine viruses) as well as HIV to elucidate the nature of the retrovirus-receptor interaction; control of viral gene expression; mechanism of retroviral genetic variation; and evolution of the host-virus relationship, as revealed by the fossil record provided by endogenous proviruses found in the normal DNA of all vertebrates and many other species.

Summary

Unique among pathogens of eukaryotes, retroviruses are distinctive in their replication through an obligate integrated DNA intermediate — the provirus — resulting in many biological consequences unique to this virus group. This talk will focus on two such consequences: the rich "fossil record" of infection of our primate ancestors for more than 100 million years in the form of endogenous proviruses; and our inability, despite the availability of highly effective viral treatments, to cure HIV infection.


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