Viral infections are associated with several human malignancies, yet the role of viral infections in the central nervous system (CNS) tumors remains unclear. Although human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been associated with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the mechanisms of pathogenesis remain to be determined. GBM is the most common primary malignancy in the CNS, and unfortunately, it is also one of the most devastating. Novel approaches to studying this disease are paramount for the advancement in treatment options for patients with this dismal disease. Using robust next generation sequencing technology, this project aims to provide insight into HCMV biology related to GBMs. In addition, investigation of the tumor microenvironment for HCMV specific host cellular gene changes will lead to the discovery of pathways in which HCMV dysregulation promotes GBM pathology. The overarching hypothesis for this project is that HCMV contributes to GBM pathogenesis through modulation of the tumor microenvironment.

Public Health Relevance

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is one of the most devastating cancers in humans. With an average survival time of just over one year, there is a significant need for advanced therapeutic options and a more in-depth understanding of its biology. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been linked to GBMs, but the underlying mechanisms by which HCMV promotes GBM pathogenesis are currently unclear. An understanding of HCMV and GBMs is not only important for understanding the disease process but also to guide the development of preventative and/or therapeutic approaches including vaccines and anti-virals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Individual Predoctoral NRSA for M.D./Ph.D. Fellowships (ADAMHA) (F30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-F13-C (20))
Program Officer
Damico, Mark W
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Tulane University
Schools of Medicine
New Orleans
United States
Zip Code
Strong, Amy L; Shi, Zhenzhen; Strong, Michael J et al. (2015) Effects of the endocrine-disrupting chemical DDT on self-renewal and differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Environ Health Perspect 123:42-8
O'Grady, Tina; Cao, Subing; Strong, Michael J et al. (2014) Global bidirectional transcription of the Epstein-Barr virus genome during reactivation. J Virol 88:1604-16
Striker, Rob; Mehle, Andrew (2014) Inhibitors of peptidyl proline isomerases as antivirals in hepatitis C and other viruses. PLoS Pathog 10:e1004428
Strong, Michael J; Baddoo, Melody; Nanbo, Asuka et al. (2014) Comprehensive high-throughput RNA sequencing analysis reveals contamination of multiple nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell lines with HeLa cell genomes. J Virol 88:10696-704
Thompson, Eric M; Strong, Michael J; Warren, Garth et al. (2014) Clinical significance of imaging and histological characteristics of filum terminale in tethered cord syndrome. J Neurosurg Pediatr 13:255-9
Xu, Guorong; Strong, Michael J; Lacey, Michelle R et al. (2014) RNA CoMPASS: a dual approach for pathogen and host transcriptome analysis of RNA-seq datasets. PLoS One 9:e89445
Strong, Michael J; Lin, Zhen; Flemington, Erik K (2014) Expanding the conversation on high-throughput virome sequencing standards to include consideration of microbial contamination sources. MBio 5:e01989
Strong, Michael J; Xu, Guorong; Morici, Lisa et al. (2014) Microbial contamination in next generation sequencing: implications for sequence-based analysis of clinical samples. PLoS Pathog 10:e1004437
Strong, Michael J; O'Grady, Tina; Lin, Zhen et al. (2013) Epstein-Barr virus and human herpesvirus 6 detection in a non-Hodgkin's diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cohort by using RNA sequencing. J Virol 87:13059-62