Graduate Students

Steve Polyak

I have been studying hepatitis C virus (HCV)-host interactions for the past 19 years. I have performed extensive studies on HCV genetic evolution, HCV structural and non-structural proteins. My lab also has extensive experience in studying the HCV life cycle, from virus binding and entry, to RNA and protein expression, to assembly and release. A major focus of our research is how sensing of HCV infection by hepatocytes leads to induction of an inflammatory response. We also have a program on natural products that protect the liver through antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory actions, with current focus on the popular botanical medicine milk thistle (a.k.a. silymarin) and HCV. More recently, we have developed a program on HIV-HCV interactions that lead to inflammation and initiation and progression of liver disease, including liver cancer. The HIV project is also studying the effects of intravenous silibinin on HIV replication and T cell activation.