Texas Biomed Staff

Anthony Griffiths

Associate Scientist | Virology and Immunology and SNPRC
Phone: 210-258-9557
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Summary

Our laboratory aims to understand the molecular basis of viral zoonotic transmission and viral pathogenesis.  To this end we are focusing on herpes B virus and filoviruses; it is thought that these viruses do not cause significant disease in their natural host, but cause devastating disease in humans. 

Herpes B virus (BV) is the macaque equivalent of herpes simplex virus (cold sores) and in macaque colonies, most animals are infected. In monkeys, BV causes a minor self-limiting disease. In contrast, human infection with BV frequently causes a severe brain infection (encephalitis) that is typically fatal. Due to the 80 percent mortality rate in infected humans, BV may only be propagated in a BSL-4 laboratory.

Our major area of interest is virus-encoded microRNAs, which appear to be important for pathogenesis.  We also have an interest in the mechanisms used by this virus to enter cells and how this differs from herpes simplex virus.

The filovirus family includes the ebolaviruses and marburgvirus, which are associated high case fatality rates in humans.  The natural reservoir for these viruses is thought to be bats.  While there is limited information describing filovirus infections of bats, it has been suggested that they may not develop a fatal illness.  We are using a variety of techniques to probe the molecular biology of these viruses. 

Lab members

Heather Menzie (Ph.D. Student)

Kendra Alfson (Ph.D. Student)

Laura Avena (Research Assistant)

Michael Beadles (Research Assistant)

Breanna Tercero (Research Assistant)

Melanie Amen, Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Gabriella Worwa, D.V.M., Ph.D. (Postdoctoral Fellow)

 

Education

Doctoral Degree: Ph.D.

University of Cambridge Cambridge , UK

Postdoctoral Work

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Publications

Refinement and standardization of the filovirus plaque assay for use in preclinical studies.

Shurtleff, A.C., J.E. Biggins, A.E. Keeney, E.E. Zumbrun, H.A. Bloomfield, A. Kuehne, J.L. Audet, K. J. Alfson, A. Griffiths, G.G. Olinger, S. Bavari, and the Plaque Assay Standardization Subcommittee of the Filovirus Animal Nonclinical Group
Viruses 2013 (In press)

The impact of regulations, safety considerations and physical limitations on research progress at high biocontainment.

Shurtleff, A.C., N. Garza, M. Lackemeyer, R. Carrion, Jr., A. Griffiths, J. Pattterson, S.S. Edwin, and S. Bavari
Viruses 2013 (In press)