Graduate Students

Michael Katze

The Systems Biology research program in the Katze lab focuses on the molecular and cellular events, pathogen-host interactions, and cellular response networks induced or altered during the course of RNA virus infection. In collaboration with academic, government, and commercial institutions worldwide, their research program covers both acute viral infections, including influenza virus, Ebolavirus, SARS-associated coronavirus, as well as chronic viral infections, such as the Hepatitis C and the human and simian AIDS viruses.  The virology team studies host response to low- and high-pathogenicity viral strains and viral mutants in prospective infection studies, as well as protein interactions at the molecular level.  The use of cell culture models is most amenable to molecular manipulations and computational modeling; on the other hand, the use of small animal and non-human primate models, as well as human clinical samples, provides disease-relevant complexities for the validation and extension of findings from cell culture models.  The bioinformatics team employs open-source and enterprise-grade software applications for the systematic analyses of host response data at the levels of mRNA, miRNA, and proteins.  Computational modeling of human-human and human-virus protein interactions, along with the in-house arsenal of profiling data, continues to provide novel and highly detailed insights into the mechanisms by which viruses cause disease and help reveal key regulators of host response to infections.  This basic research information will in turn translate into clinical initiatives, including the evaluation of novel targets for therapeutic intervention, new diagnostic or prognostic assays, or alternative vaccine strategies.