Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 299 Campus Dr, Stanford, California, CA 94305, USA
Dr. Peter Sarnow is Professor and Chair in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Stanford University School of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. From the State University of New York at Stony Brook, working on the functions of the adenovirus tumor antigens in the laboratory of Dr. Arnold J. Levine. He joined the laboratory of Dr. David Baltimore at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, MA where he studied virus-host interactions in poliovirus-infected cells using an infectious viral cDNA as a tool. In 1986, he took an independent faculty position in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Genetics at the University of Colorado where he discovered internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) in cellular mRNAs and established a program to examine mRNA-ribosome interactions in mammalian cells. After his move to Stanford University in 1996, he studied diverse IRES elements in insect viruses that can bind ribosomes and mediate translation without the aid of canonical translation initiation factors. More recently, his laboratory has been studying the mechanism by which certain microRNA molecules regulate expression of cellular and viral mRNAs. In particular, he has shown that a liver-specific microRNA upregulates the abundance of hepatitis C viral RNAs in infected cultured liver cells. These research venues pointed to a novel viral Achilles’ heel. Dr. Sarnow's scientific service record spans education, research and industry. He has received several awards for his research, including the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, a Faculty Research Award from the American Cancer Society, the 2006 Sidney Frank Research Prize and the 2011 Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology.