WELCOME TO THE GEHRKE LAB
Research in the Gehrke lab focuses primarily on RNA viruses that have a positive sense genome. This means that their genetic code is stored in RNA rather than the more familiar DNA, and that the RNAs are ready to be translated into protein as soon as they enter infected cells. This distinguishes positive sense viruses from negative sense viruses, which must enter cells and then convert their negative sense genomes into a positive strand for translation into protein. Comparatively, RNA viruses are more serious human health threats than DNA viruses.
Research projects in the Gehrke laboratory are in three areas:
1) Developing improved models for studying infectious diseases by infecting embryonic stem (ES)- and induced pluripotent stem (iPS)-derived cells with BSL2 and BSL3 flaviviruses such as Dengue, Zika, Powassan, Deer Tick, West Nile, and Japanese Encephalitis virus,
2) Understanding competitive host/viral protein synthesis encoded by polyadenylated host RNAs and non-polyadenylated viral RNAs, and
3) Development of low cost rapid diagnostics to detect emerging virus infections.