Christopher C. Nguyen
Research: I am investigating the mechanisms governing how human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a ubiquitous and burdensome opportunistic pathogen, efficiently infects different types of cells in the human host (“cell tropism”). The broad cell tropism of HCMV is vital to its life cycle, as HCMV exploits different cell types to persist within the host and transmit between hosts. I am specifically interested in how a viral protein known as UL148 regulates the levels of glycoprotein complexes on progeny virions. I am currently investigating (i) post-translational mechanisms such as ER-associated degradation and (ii) translational regulation of glycoprotein transcripts that would explain how the presence of UL148 enhances the levels of particular glycoproteins on virions. These studies have the potential to significantly advance our understanding of how HCMV determines the target cell types of viral progeny.
Supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (P30-GM110703).