Project Overview

Cellular Metabolic and Innate Immune Responses to Mammalian Reovirus Infection

Faculty Sponsor

Geoff Holm (




Research in the Holm lab focuses on mammalian reoviruses, members of the Reoviridae family of non-enveloped viruses containing genomes of 10-12 segments of double-stranded (ds) RNA. This family includes mammalian orthoreoviruses (reoviruses), orbiviruses, and rotaviruses. Reoviruses infect many mammalian species, including humans, but unlike their close relatives rotaviruses, are rarely associated with human disease. Accordingly, they serve as a useful model for undergraduate-focused studies of virus replication, virus-cell interactions, and viral pathogenesis. Recent interest in reovirus stems from its use as an "oncolytic virotherapy" to treat human cancers, as the virus replicates better in cancer cells leading to tumor cell death or immune-mediated clearance. Specifically, th Holm lab investigates cellular responses to reovirus infection, including both innate immune activation and cellular metabolic alteration, each of which contribute to reovirus oncolysis. Students will work both as a group and independently on projects involving i) identification of cellular innate immune genes (interferon stimulated genes) that restrict reovirus replication, and ii) characterizing strain-specific alterations to cellular metabolism following infection.

Student Qualifications

Minimally Biol182 or prior research experience, and an interest in biomedical sciences (with strong preference for Biology or Molecular Biology majors).

Number of Student Researchers

3 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 10/03/2023 and close on 02/28/2024

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (