Research: Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous gammaherpesvirus present in 90% of the adult population worldwide. EBV infection is associated with a number of malignancies, and we have shown a high incidence of EBV infection in human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). Our laboratory has also observed an EBV-induced interruption of epithelial differentiation, a process required by HPV for completion of its life cycle. My project entails investigating the effects of EBV infection on epithelial differentiation and how these effects alter the life cycle of HPV. The overall goal of my work is to establish EBV as an important cofactor in the progression of HPV-positive OSCC.
Supported by a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (P30-GM110703).