Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Department of Microbiology-Immunology

Derek F Walsh, PhD

Derek F Walsh, PhD

Associate Professor of Microbiology-Immunology



Ward Building Room Ward 6-165
303 E Chicago Avenue
Chicago IL 60611

Education/Research Website

Education and Certification

PhD: Dublin City University, Biotechnology (2000)
Postdoctoral Fellowship: Columbia University (2001)
Postdoctoral Fellowship: NYU School of Medicine, New York (2006)


Description of Interests

Research in our laboratory focuses on two aspects of DNA virus biology: (for more information on our lab please visit 1) The role of the host translation system during infection by poxviruses. Members of the poxvirus family include Variola Virus (VarV), the causative agent of smallpox, and Vaccinia Virus (VacV), a close relative that was used as a vaccine against smallpox and which has become the laboratory prototype for poxvirus research. Our work focuses on the function of two eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF) complexes, eIF3 and eIF4F, that regulate ribosome recruitment to capped mRNAs and their role in VacV infection. We are also studying how the virus controls these activities by targeting upstream signaling pathways. 2) Microtubule regulation and function during herpes simplex virus infection. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a large DNA virus that infects the majority of the world population. HSV-1 causes the common cold sore, but can also lead to corneal blindness and fatal encephalopathy. Initially the virus transports to, and replicates in the nucleus before progeny virions travel to the cell surface to spread to neighboring cells. Projects in our lab are focused on how HSV-1 exploits host signaling pathways and specialized microtubule regulatory proteins, called +TIPs, to facilitate virus movement within the cell at various stages of the viral lifecycle. To date, we have found that HSV-1 encodes a kinase that targets a family of +TIPs called Cytoplasmic Linker-associated proteins (CLASPs) that nucleate microtubules at the trans-golgi network and facilitate the spread of new virus.

Interests (Keywords)

Cell Biology; Cytoskeleton; Gene Therapy; Infectious Diseases; Microbiology; Microscopy; Signal Transduction; Virology

Research and Publications

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