Janet Mertz

Contact InformationJanet E. Mertz, PhD, Professor of Oncology

608-262-2383 (office); 608-262-2335 (lab)
7507 WI Institute Medical Research


BS, BS, 1970, Life Sciences/Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
PhD, 1975, Biochemistry, Stanford University
Postdoctoral Research, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England


Professor of Oncology
Virology Program Member, UW Carbone Cancer Center

Research Description

Our group’s primary interest involves regulation of gene expression and mechanisms of oncogenesis by DNA tumor viruses implicated in a variety of human cancers. We have identified the cellular transcription factors ZEB-1 and Ikaros as key players in maintaining the human herpesvirus Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) in a latent state while Blimp-1α and HIF-1α are major physiological players in reactivating this virus into lytic replication during epithelial and B-cell differentiation and hypoxic conditions, respectively. In collaboration with the Kenney laboratory, we are identifying and testing both in vitro and in a mouse model system a variety of drugs and drug combinations that might prove useful as new therapeutic agents for treating patients with EBV-associated cancers.

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