Dr. Alice Telesnitsky
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
University of Michigan
Retroviral RNA and the
Remarkable Genetics of HIV-1
Dr. Telesnitsky’s current work focuses on molecular genetics of the retroviruses Moloney murine leukemia virus (MLV) and HIV-1. They are particularly interested in the viral genome, which consists of two (generally identical) strands of RNA within viral particles and thus is sometimes considered to be diploid. Once retroviruses enter cells, their RNAs are "reverse transcribed" to generate a DNA copy of the viral genome, which subsequently becomes integrated into the host’s chromosomes. The Telesnitsky lab is investigating several factors that relate to this process: the regulators of genetic recombination in these retroviral genomes; how the host cell trafficking of RNA affects the retroviral genome, and finally the structure and function of the regulators that “reverse transcribe” the viral RNA genome.