April 26, 2011

The Department Of Microbiology and Immunology Seminar Series Featuring Samuel H. Speck, Ph.D., Today at 3 p.m.

The Department Of Microbiology and Immunology
Departmental Seminar Series

Samuel H. Speck, Ph.D.
Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Pathogenesis
Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Emory University School of Medicine

“Of mice and men: What we can learn from a mouse model of gammaherpesvirus infection”

Tuesday, April 26
3 p.m.
Room 1220 MRB III


Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68) infection of laboratory strains of mice recapitulates many aspects of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection in humans. A hallmark for all known gammaherpesviruses is their tropism for specific lymphocyte populations (most are B cell tropic), the inability of the host to clear these infections (all herpesviruses establish chronic infections in their natural host), and their association with lymphoproliferative diseases and lymphomas.

We have exploited the mouse model to address basic aspects of gammaherpesvirus pathogenesis. Recently, we have been able to generate murine B cell lines immortalized by MHV68. These cell lines rapidly cause lymphoma when injected into highly immunocompromised mice (athymic nude mice or SCID mice), but not in immunocompetent mice (C57Bl/6).

We are now systematically determining what viral genes are required for immortalization of murine B cells, and the changes that occur in viral and cellular gene expression upon adoptive transfer into naïve immunocompetent and immunocompromised mice. Ultimately, these studies may lead to a better understanding of host pathways that are manipulated by gammaherpesviruses leading to lymphoma development in the setting of immune suppression (e.g., HIV infection or organ transplantation).


Host: Graduate Student Association
Ph: 343-3435

Awards Ceremony:

  • Sidney P. Colowick Awards for Outstanding Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Mary Ann and John H. Hash Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching of Graduate Students in Microbiology and Immunology

Reception immediately following in the lobby

Sponsored by: Cellular and Molecular Microbiology Training Grant