Key words: parvovirus, adeno-associated virus, virus-host interactions, viral toolkit, gene therapy

Viruses are remarkably plastic entities.  New strains evolve constantly driven by genetic drift and iterative mutagenesis.  Acceleration of these evolutionary processes in a laboratory setting will greatly impact our ability to understand molecular mechanisms underlying viral infection as well as vector design for gene therapy applications.  The overarching goal of our lab is to combine the tools and principles of molecular biology and genetics with chemistry to generate a synthetic viral toolkit.  The resulting engineered viral strains are utilized to unravel viral infectious pathways, provide novel vectors for gene therapy and reagents for molecular genetics applications.  We work in close collaboration with structural biologists, clinical researchers and other labs in the UNC Gene Therapy Center towards achieving these goals.