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Research Outline      2016-08-04 15:47:30

The first is on molecular virology of hepatitis viruses. Current focus is on the hepatitis D virus(HDV). HDV is the simplest RNA virus that employs a very unique strategy for viral replication and expression. It uses a currently unknown cellularRNA polymerase and one viral protein, the small-hepatitis delta antigen for replication. We are interested in identifying this cellular polymerase by genetic and biochemical approaches. Viral small delta antigen is modified post-translationally (such as phosphorylation). These modifications play important role in ushering in different stage of viral life cycle. The mechanisms are under investigation. 
The second is on the treatment of hepatitis B. Persistenthepatitis B has been very difficult to eradicate, though many current treatments can suppress HBV to a low level. Recently, stimulation of cellular immunity by therapeutic vaccine (especially DNA-based) becomes a promising approach. We set up a chronic hepatitis B animal model (in woodchucks) and would try the therapeutic vaccine. 
The third part is related to liver cancer. Cancer is now considered as a genetic disease of somatic cells whose chromosomes are mutated because of carcinogen-induced injuries. Search for genes with mutations in liver cancer genomes will shed light on the transformation process. Genome research technique, including allele mapping, linkage analysis, large-scale sequencing and functional genomics will be applied. The laboratory welcome new blood showing strong interest and motivation in these fields.