The People of OyaGen
Dr. Stephen Dewhurst, Scientific Advisory Board
Stephen Dewhurst is a Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and of Oncology at the University of Rochester.
Dr. Dewhurst’s lab is currently examining novel methods for the generation of vaccines for HIV/AIDS. Ongoing studies include experiments designed to test the efficacy of novel herpesvirus vector systems (cytomegalovirus, HSV amplicon vectors) in mice, as well as exploratory studies aimed at the development of selectively targeted virus vector systems with an ability to target dendritic cells. The latter studies involve the use of phage display libraries to identify peptides capable of allowing viral particles to enter human cells, including dendritic cells. These peptides will be used to retarget adenovirus vectors, and also to mediate the internalization and uptake of bacteriophage vectors in human cells.
The Dewhurst lab is also investigating mechanisms of neuronal apoptosis in HIV/AIDS. This involves examining the role of NF-kB activation in neuronal survival in neuroAIDS. Related studies focus on the effect of glycogen synthase kinase 3-b activation on neuronal survival and function, and on the development of novel methods for the delivery of viral vectors into the central nervous system.
Salivary gland gene therapy studies focus on the human herpesvirus (HHV)-7 which infects almost all adults and is a constitutive inhabitant of human saliva; the virus can also be found in human salivary gland tissues. We are therefore interested in HHV-7, with a long-term view towards the development of the virus, or viral components, for use in salivary gland gene transfer applications. We are also analyzing several novel gene products encoded by HHV-6 and -7 (including a putative viral opioid receptor and a potential viral immunoregulatory gene).
Read more about Dr. Dewhurst’s work in: