Pathobiology Calendar


From cold sores to encephalitis: herpesvirus invasion of the nervous system

Greg A. Smith, Ph.D.

Department of Microbiology-Immunology

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Dr. Gregory Smith is a Professor of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University. He joined the faculty in 2001 following his postdoctoral studies with Dr. Lynn Enquist at Princeton University and thesis research with Dr. Daniel Portnoy at the University of Pennsylvania. His lab focuses on the potent neuroinvasive properties of the mammalian alpha-herpesviruses. Herpesviruses are complex infectious agents with the unusual ability to reside in their hosts for life. This property is intimately associated with their remarkably success: all animals, from oysters to elephants, provide shelter to a least one type of herpesvirus. Unlike recently emerged pathogens, herpesviruses have an ancient origin. They have co-evolved with us and have adapted to such an extent that we are generally not aware of their presence. And yet, in some instances their potent infectivity can produce severe disease. A hallmark property of the mammalian alpha-herpesviruses is the dissemination of infection following initial exposure of mucosal surfaces to sensory and autonomic ganglia of the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral ganglia serve as the latent virus reservoir and the source of recurrent infections. However, the means by which these viruses routinely invade the nervous system is poorly established. Recent findings will be presented that are beginning to define the complex cascade of events orchestrated by the virus to control the cellular microtubule transport machinery and ultimately achieve their remarkable infectious cycle.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

12:00 PM

2506 Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building

2001 South Lincoln Avenue, Urbana

For more information contact the Department of Pathobiology at 217-333-2449, email