Shelby M. Lyon
Position title: Kalejta Laboratory
621 Robert M Bock Lab
1525 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
Research Title. Use of Visible HCMV to Assess Viral Genome Dynamics in Infected Cells.
Research Description. My research project is focused on the maintenance of the Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genome during latent infection. HCMV is a pervasive human pathogen that infects the majority of the world’s population in a quiescent, yet persistent, state of infection known as latency. Epidemiological studies have linked HCMV with brain, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Infection with HCMV can induce all ten of the classical cancer hallmarks and, although it does not directly transform cells, is capable of creating growth. Since latent infection allows the virus to persist for the life of the host, HCMV results in a lifelong barrage of viral oncomodulatory effects that may indirectly promote cancer development over time. Latent infection is also associated with proliferative diseases like atherosclerosis and restenosis, while reactivation poses a serious risk to immunocompromised individuals.