Viruses are master manipulators, and those that persist for long periods of time are extraordinarily well-adapted to coexisting with their human and animal hosts. This lecture will explore how these minute agents are able to take control of a highly sophisticated cell with only a small set of genetic instructions. We will discuss what they need in order to multiply, and how studying them provides new insights into the inner workings of our own cells.
Britt Glaunsinger leads a biomedical research laboratory that investigates how viruses, particularly those that persist in an infected individual for long periods of time, interact with the infected cell in order to multiply. The primary focus of her research is to understand how herpes viruses hijack or redesign components of the host cell to express their genes. Glaunsinger’s research has been recognized by awards from the Burroughs Wellcome Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation, the UC Berkeley Prytanean Women’s Honor Society, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. She was named a 2015 UC Berkeley Miller Professor and the 2017 UC Berkeley Class of 1963 Endowed Chair. More information about her research group can be found at glaunsingerlab.berkeley.edu.