UNL INBRE Mentors-Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences

Clinton J. Jones, Ph.D.
E-Mail: cjones@unlnotes.unl.edu

Research Interests:  Latency of α-herpesviruses is the focus of my research.  This group of viruses initiates infection in the mucosal epithelium, and then establishes life-long latency in sensory neurons.  We are utilizing Bovine Herpes Virus 1 (BHV-1) and Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) to study virus host interactions during the latency-reactivation cycle. As a consequence of the pathogenic potential of BHV-1, the cattle industry suffers more than $500,000,000/year in losses.  HSV-1 is the leading cause of corneal blindness due to an infectious agent and the most significant infectious agent that causes encephalitis.  HSV-1 and BHV-1 express a single latency related (LR) transcript in latently infected neurons, a factor that inhibits programmed cell death (apoptosis).  My laboratory is focused on understanding the mechanism by which these viruses persist in neurons, and how they periodically reactivate from latency.

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Asit K. Pattnaik, Ph.D.
E-Mail: apattnaik2@unl.edu

Research Interests:  Research in the Pattnaik laboratory focuses on transcription, replication, and assembly of RNA viruses. As models, we have been using vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a non-segmented negative-strand RNA virus, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), both of which are positive-strand RNA viruses. The overall goal of our studies is to understand the basic mechanisms of gene expression and its regulation, which will be essential in identifying unique virus-specific targets for therapeutic intervention in controlling infection by these agents. Genetic manipulation of the viral genomes by applying molecular biology/genetic engineering techniques is one of the major approaches used in the laboratory for these studies.  

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Matthew Wiebe, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Nebraska Center for Virology
E-Mail: mwiebe2@unl.edu

Research Interests: My research focus in this area of host-pathogen interaction is two-fold.  First, it is to understand the molecular sensors utilized by the cell to identify and respond to foreign DNA.  Second, it is to characterize the methods viruses use to evade these DNA-specific immune defenses.  To accomplish these two goals, I study vaccinia virus, which possesses a large DNA genome.  Vaccinia is a member of the poxvirus family, and is closely related to the smallpox and monkeypox viruses.

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Shi-hua Xiang, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Nebraska Center for Virology
E-Mail: sxiang2@unl.edu

Research Interests: Our research interests are focused on HIV/AIDS, with the ultimate goal of developing an effective vaccine or a long-term preventive strategy to counter this devastating pandemic. Our laboratory research is focused on HIV envelope structure, envelope-based vaccine design and development, and other anti-HIV research approaches.

For more information on Dr. Xiang: Web Site