What I work on
I work as a molecular viorologist to try to understand some of the myriad cellular processes essential for life and how viral proteins interact with and subvert them. My graduate work is focusing on a viral protein that associates with the mitochondrion cellular organelle and prevents the cell from undergoing a programmed cell suicide, termed apoptosis. One of the unusual but as yet not understood properties of this viral protein is its power to change mitochondrial architecture from spaghetti strings to dots. The accompanying image shows mitochondria in red and the viral protein in green; the overlap where both protein and mitochondria are present comes out as yellow.