Project Overview

Cellular metabolic responses to mammalian orthoreovirus infection

Faculty Sponsor

Geoff Holm (




Mammalian reoviruses are 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. Research in the Holm lab focuses on: i) identifying and characterizing cellular genes that inhibit reovirus infection as part of the antiviral innate immune system; ii) understanding mechanisms through which reovirus strains evade innate immune responses; and iii) determining how reovirus infection interfaces with cellular metabolic pathways. Laboratory techniques utilized in the Holm lab include mammalian cell culture, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence microscopy, quantitative PCR, reporter gene assays, and measurements of cellular metabolic function.

Student Qualifications

Anticipated or current molecular biology or biology major, and Biology 182. Completion of a 200-level Biology course would be beneficial but is not required.

Number of Student Researchers

2 students

Project Length

10 weeks

Applications open on 01/03/2021 and close on 03/22/2021

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If you have questions, please contact Karyn Belanger (