Prof. FRENKEL Niza
Molecular biology of herpesviruses that infect man; the use of viral vectors in gene therapy and vaccination. Study the herpes simplex viruses HSV-1 and HSV-2 which cause facial and genital infections, and the human Herpesviruses 6 and 7 (HHV-6 and HHV-7) which cause mild to life threatening diseases in children and in bone marrow and kidney transplantations .
Current research projects:
- Molecular mechanisms of herpesvirus replication and gene expression
- Disease associations of the lymphotropic Human herpesviruseses 6A, 6B and 7 (HHV-6A, HHV-6B and HHV-7).
- Derivation of herpesvirus vectors towards their use in gene therapy and vaccination.
- Molecular Virology: Studies of viral DNA replication and packaging;
- Virus-host cell interactions including HSV-1 host shutoff by mRNA degradation;
- HHV-6A & HHV-6B induced cell stress and suicidal functions leading to apoptosis;
- Alternations of cellular pathways and cell cycle arrest;
- Activation of immune response in viral infections; viral miRNAs.
- Disease association: Collaborative studies with clinical centers concerning life threatening HHV-6B reactivation in bone marrow and kidney transplantations; Infections in children with central nervous system complications.
- Gene therapy: Development of HSV vectors for gene therapy of brain tumors employing mouse model systems; HHV-6 vectors for Leukemia/lymphomas; HHV-6 vectors towards potential vaccination against HSV infection and HIV-1/AIDS; development of anti-cancer vaccination.