The Geballe Lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center studies the regulation of translation during viral infection. Our current research focuses on the interactions between the cellular antiviral protein kinase R (PKR) and viral PKR antagonists expressed by human cytomegalovirus, a herpesvirus, and vaccinia virus, a poxvirus.
Studies in an increasing number of systems demonstrate that translational events have a major impact on eukaryotic gene expression. Research in the Geballe Lab aims to identify the cis-acting signals and trans-acting factors and to elucidate the mechanisms that regulate expression of viral and cellular genes at the translational level.
As well the lab has begun investigating the evolution of mechanism by which viruses overcome host cell defenses, several of which act by inhibiting translation in the infected cell.