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 the virus infects and uncoats. Positive sense RNA viruses are thereby distinguished 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 following 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 neurotropic flaviviruses, including Dengue, Zika, Powassan, Deer Tick, West Nile, and Japanese Encephalitis virus.
2) Understanding coronavirus host-pathogen interactions by infecting primary lung and otic prosensory cells with SARS-CoV-2 in a BSL3 environment.
3) Developing low cost rapid diagnostics to detect emerging virus infections for flaviviruses, alphaviruses, filoviruses, and coronaviruses.