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Faculty Investigator

Dr. Stanley Lemon

Stanley M. Lemon, M.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Surgery

Dr. Lemon’s research interests focus on the molecular pathogenesis of viral hepatitis caused by the positive-strand RNA viruses responsible for hepatitis C and hepatitis A. Although these agents represent different virus families, they share a general strategy for their replication as well as several specific features of the viral life cycle. Both viruses initiate the 5' cap-independent translation of their protein complement by a process of internal ribosome entry on the positive-strand viral RNA. Dr. Lemon’s laboratory is interested in defining the structure of the RNA segments that control the initiation of translation, and in developing a better understanding of the mechanisms by which this process occurs. The ultimate aim is to exploit the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) as a target for antiviral intervention, or to manipulate it in a way that may attenuate the pathogenic potential of the virus for vaccine purposes. On a broader scale, the laboratory is engaged in efforts to expand the repertoire of laboratory systems available for the study of hepatitis C virus. This includes the development of alternative model systems for hepatitis C, including the development and characterization of hepatitis C transgenic mice. Transgenic mice expressing various hepatitis C proteinshave been developed in the laboratory, and have been shown to be at risk for hepatic steatosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. State-of-the-art gene chip techniques are being used in an effort to understand the molecular basis of these phenotypes. Other research efforts include the construction and evaluation of infectious cDNA copies of the hepatitis C genome, and the evaluation of other flaviviruses (e.g., GB virus B) as surrogate laboratory models for hepatitis C. The laboratory interacts widely with a number of basic and clinical scientists at UTMB who share the desire to develop better ways to control this common and potentially life-threatening infection.

Selected Publications

PubMed database of publications

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