VIROLOGY PROGRAM Approximately 20% of all cancers result from infectious agents, with the majority of these malignancies being virus-associated cancers. The Virology Program (VIR) focuses on deciphering the basic mechanisms by which human tumor viruses are linked to the development of malignancy. The long-term goal of VIR is to understand viral perturbation sufficiently to generate new therapies, including small molecules, biologics, and vaccines that target viruses and viral cancers.
The aims for VIR are focused on five research areas. These include understanding: (i) Viruses and Immunity (ii) Virus-Cell Interactions (iii) Viral Pathogenesis and Tumorigenesis (iv) Cancers impacted by HIV infection, and (v) Clinical & Translational Virology, which includes gene therapy, immune therapy and global oncology. Recent discoveries include the finding that virus-infected cells secrete exosomes or extracellular vesicles, which modulate the tumor environment, and the discovery that viral- encoded microRNAs contribute to the development of neoplasms. Additional findings focus on the modulation of innate immune signaling pathways by oncogenic viruses, epigenetic modifications in the context of viral cancers, and development of new therapies for AIDS-associated cancers. VIR also provides the scientific underpinnings of the UNC Lineberger Global Oncology effort, which is tightly integrated with other NCI- designated cancer centers, NCI-funded collaborative groups including the AIDS Malignancy Consortium in the US and Africa, and the NIH global research agenda. There are 23 program members from 10 different departments across campus. These faculty investigators have 39 research grants and $9.7 million (direct costs) in annual extramural support including $2.4 million from NCI and $5.5 million from other peer and other NIH. Members authored a total of 407 cancer-relevant publications during the past 5 years; 13% were intra- programmatic, and 16% were inter-programmatic. VIR is the administrative home of LCCC viral vector/gene therapy efforts and based on overlapping biology is working closely with the Immunology (IMM) research program. LCCC?s humanized mouse program is led by Victor Garcia?s work in VIR. There are extremely accomplished investigators in VIR including Dr. Jack Griffith, elected to the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Raab-Traub, National Cancer Advisory Board member, and Dr. Damania who serves on the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors. Research in VIR is informed by the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement particularly with respect to HPV-associated cancers with an emphasis on translational studies related to human papilloma virus (HPV) including recruitment of new faculty and investment of pilot funding. HPV-associated cervical and oral cancers are of particular interest to LCCC as the incidence of HPV-associated cervical and oral cancer in our catchment area exceeds the national average.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill
United States
Zip Code
Shao, Wenwei; Chen, Xiaojing; Samulski, Richard J et al. (2018) Inhibition of antigen presentation during AAV gene therapy using virus peptides. Hum Mol Genet 27:601-613
Gao, Yanzhe; Kardos, Jordan; Yang, Yang et al. (2018) The Cancer/Testes (CT) Antigen HORMAD1 promotes Homologous Recombinational DNA Repair and Radioresistance in Lung adenocarcinoma cells. Sci Rep 8:15304
Schaefer, Kristina N; Bonello, Teresa T; Zhang, Shiping et al. (2018) Supramolecular assembly of the beta-catenin destruction complex and the effect of Wnt signaling on its localization, molecular size, and activity in vivo. PLoS Genet 14:e1007339
Zuze, Takondwa; Painschab, Matthew S; Seguin, Ryan et al. (2018) Plasmablastic lymphoma in Malawi. Infect Agent Cancer 13:22
Wang, Jeremy R; Holt, James; McMillan, Leonard et al. (2018) FMLRC: Hybrid long read error correction using an FM-index. BMC Bioinformatics 19:50
Lee, Janie M; Abraham, Linn; Lam, Diana L et al. (2018) Cumulative Risk Distribution for Interval Invasive Second Breast Cancers After Negative Surveillance Mammography. J Clin Oncol 36:2070-2077
Shen, Hui; Shih, Juliann; Hollern, Daniel P et al. (2018) Integrated Molecular Characterization of Testicular Germ Cell Tumors. Cell Rep 23:3392-3406
Armstrong, Robin L; Penke, Taylor J R; Strahl, Brian D et al. (2018) Chromatin conformation and transcriptional activity are permissive regulators of DNA replication initiation in Drosophila. Genome Res 28:1688-1700
Hoadley, Katherine A; Yau, Christina; Hinoue, Toshinori et al. (2018) Cell-of-Origin Patterns Dominate the Molecular Classification of 10,000 Tumors from 33 Types of Cancer. Cell 173:291-304.e6
Bonacci, Thomas; Suzuki, Aussie; Grant, Gavin D et al. (2018) Cezanne/OTUD7B is a cell cycle-regulated deubiquitinase that antagonizes the degradation of APC/C substrates. EMBO J 37:

Showing the most recent 10 out of 1525 publications