Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
Mary  Hummel, PhD

Mary Hummel, PhD

Research Professor of Surgery (Organ Transplantation)

Focus of Work

Bio

Cytomegalovirus is a ubiquitous herpesvirus which latently infects the majority of adults. Reactivation of latent virus occurs frequently, and in immunocompromised individuals, such as recipients of solid organ and bone marrow transplants, reactivation of CMV is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The primary focus of research in our lab is the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms by which cytomegalovirus (CMV) establishes latent infection, in which the DNA is present but no...[Read full text]Cytomegalovirus is a ubiquitous herpesvirus which latently infects the majority of adults. Reactivation of latent virus occurs frequently, and in immunocompromised individuals, such as recipients of solid organ and bone marrow transplants, reactivation of CMV is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The primary focus of research in our lab is the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms by which cytomegalovirus (CMV) establishes latent infection, in which the DNA is present but no virus is produced, and the mechanisms by which the virus reactivates, starts actively replicating and induces disease in vivo. Using murine CMV as a model system, our studies have shown that the virus establishes latency by shutting down viral gene expression through recruitment of transcriptional repressors to the viral genome. We have developed a unique kidney transplant model for studying reactivation of the virus which closely approximates clinical settings in which reactivation occurs, and we are investigating molecular signaling pathways that lead to transcriptional reactivation of viral gene expression. This may lead to identification of novel targets for therapeutic intervention which could prevent reactivation of CMV and its associated pathologies.[Shorten text]

Keywords


Education and Certification

  • PhD: University of Chicago (1982)

Contact

312-503-0431

Tarry Building Room 11-759
300 E Superior
Chicago IL 60611

Institutes and Centers

Visit Mary Hummel's Northwestern Scholars Profile to see the list of publications.