scroll down to see the key to these images

Welcome to the Luban Lab

Where we study viral replication, pathogenesis, and immunity
…and attempt to learn about ourselves in the process

Blog Posts

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Key to above images:
1. Logo of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the public medical school of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where the Luban Lab is located.
2. HIV-1 virion cut-away by, courtesy of Graham Johnson & colleagues.
3. Micrograph of dendritic cells derived from CD34+ human hematopoietic stem cells, 2 hrs after stimulation with LPS. Note spiky dendrites!
4. The South American owl monkey (Aotus trivirgatus):
– is monogamous, nocturnal, and weighs ~ 1 kg
– engages in social annointing/group intoxication with crushed millepedes
– encodes TRIM5Cyp, to our knowledge the most potent anti-HIV-1 restriction factor. See Davids’ paper describing the discovery of TRIM5Cyp and Martha’s paper showing its use as an anti-HIV gene therapy.
5. FACS plot of human monocyte derived dendritic cells, 48 hrs after challenge with HIV-1-GFP, showing infected cells (GFP+, X-axis) and matured cells (CD86+, Y-axis). Sean’s paper describes how dendritic cells mature in response to unspliced HIV-1 RNA.
6. RNA-Seq data from human blood monocyte derived DCs, in a time-course after stimulation with multiple factors. These cells offer a robust model for studying dynamic transcriptional responses relevant for vaccine development. See our paper with Manuel Garber.
7. KoRV-A-infected Koala being treated for opportunistic infection with Chlamydia. KoRV-A is “going germline”, permitting study of the genesis of an endogenous retrovirus, as it happens in nature. Our paper with Bill Theurkauf and Zhiping Weng demonstrates that the germ cells of infected koalas, and of mice bearing replication-competent, endogenous retroviruses, produce retrovirus-specific, antiviral piRNAs. See our blog post for more details.