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Julie A. Kerry , PhD Chair, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Cell Biology

    • Title:
    • Chairman

    • Role:
    • Faculty

    • Faculty Appointments:
    • Additional Certifications:
    • Focus Areas:
    • Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV)

    • Office Location:
    • Lewis Hall

    • Undergraduate Education:
    • Graduate Education:
    • MS, South Australian Institute of Technology, Australia

      PhD, Monash University, Australia

    • Postdoctoral Education:
    • Postdoctoral Training, University of California, Santa Barbara

    • Medical Education:
    • Residency:
    • Fellowship(s):
    • Board Certification(s):
    • Affiliation(s):
    • Research Interests:
    • Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a significant cause of disease in the immunocompromised and is the leading cause of infection-related congenital birth defects. Disease associated with HCMV infections is an increasing problem due to the emergence of drug-resistant viruses. Proteins contained within the HCMV tegument are important for both establishment of virus infection and assembly of new viral particles and thus make attractive therapeutic targets. Our research is focused on understanding the mechanisms that regulate the subcellular trafficking of the tegument proteins, focusing on the phosphoprotein pp71. This protein initially travels to the nucleus, where it plays an important role in switching on viral gene expression. At the late stage of infection, pp71 is found in the cytoplasm in viral assembly compartments associated with trans-Golgi Network (TGN)-derived membranes. Our laboratory has identified a domain of pp71 that is important for both nuclear and TGN-trafficking. Together with our collaborators in the George L. Wright Center for Biomedical Proteomics, we have shown that nuclear localization is regulated by phosphorylation of a specific threonine residue within pp71. Further, our studies have identified a specific sequence that dictates pp71 trafficking to the mitochondria, suggesting additional functions for this key viral tegument protein. We are currently determining the mechanisms of pp71 trafficking and assessing the biological functions of cytoplasmic pp71 during infection.

    • Primary Specialty:
    • Hospital:
    • Courses Taught:
    • Biomedical Sciences Program Track: Molecular Integrative Biosciences (MIB)

      Molecular and Cellular Biology, Cell Biology, Virology and Tumor Biology

    • Current Projects:
    • Bio: