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Professor, Dept. of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Dept. of Microbiology & Immunology

Research Summary

Dr. Lemon’s laboratory has focused on two viruses that are classified within different virus families, hepatitis A virus (HAV, an hepatovirus classified within the Picornaviridae) and hepatitis C virus (HCV, a flavivirus). His early research elucidated the structure and function of the 5’ and 3’ untranslated RNAs of these viruses, and among other accomplishments identified the existence of critical internal cis-acting RNA replication elements (Cre) in picornaviruses, mapped the secondary structure and function of the internal ribosome entry site (IRES) of both HAV and HCV, and identified and characterized the unique roles played by the microRNA, miR-122, in HCV replication. He has also studied how these plus-strand viruses are recognized by host innate immune sensors, how they have evolved similar but distinct mechanisms to evade antiviral defense in the liver, and how these events influence inflammation and the development of immunity. More recently, his lab discovered that HAV is released nonlytically from cells cloaked in extracellular vesicles, circulating in the blood of infected humans in a quasi-enveloped form resistant to neutralizing anti-HAV antibodies. These seminal observations blurred the classic distinctions between enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, thus challenging some basic, long-held tenets of virology.

Dr. Lemon is a past Pilot/Feasibility Awardee and previously served on the CGIBD Executive Committee. He is a former medical school dean (UTMB Galveston) and provides strategic advice to the CGIBD directors.

CGIBD Focus Area(s):  Regeneration and Repair

Pilot and Feasibility Award 1996

Collaborators:  Ting

stanley lemon