Dept. of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, Massachusetts, USA
David Knipe is Higgins Professor of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School and Chair of the Program in Virology at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology for his research on vesicular stomatitis virus protein synthesis and assembly with David Baltimore and Harvey Lodish, and he was a postdoctoral fellow with Bernard Roizman studying molecular genetics of herpes simplex virus. His research has shown that DNA viruses assemble intranuclear compartments where the viruses replicate and transcribe their genome, followed by studies showing that HSV reorganizes the cell nucleus including host chromatin and nuclear lamina for viral DNA replication, late gene transcription and viral assembly. His lab has shown mechanisms by which HSV proteins promote euchromatin modifications on the viral genome during lytic infection while the viral latency-associated transcript promotes heterochromatin during latent infection. Recently his lab showed that HSV DNA is sensed in the nucleus by the host IFI16 protein, activating a signaling pathway that results in induction of expression of interferon- and interferon-stimulated genes, illustrating a new innate sensing pathway in the cell nucleus. His lab has constructed and tested replication-defective mutant HSV-2 strains as genital herpes vaccines, one of which is now being produced for phase I clinical trials.