Richard Longnecker, PhD
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Director of the Viral Oncogenesis Basic Science Program at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center
Director of the Integrated Graduate Program
Feinberg School of Medicine
Dr. Longnecker’s research, which uses molecular genetic approaches, focuses on the mechanisms of Epstein-Barr virus transformation of human B lymphocytes and the link of the Epstein-Barr virus with human cancers. His laboratory is also interested in understanding the ability of the Epstein-Barr virus to persist and remain latent in a human host and in the infection of susceptible cells. Both the process of viral entry and the cancers associated within the human population are influenced by host genetic factors.
Dr. Longnecker’s laboratory recently determined that only certain alleles of HLA Class II function in the process of EBV entry. Overall, the studies in his lab will led to a better understanding of the virus life cycle, signal transduction and cell growth regulation in lymphocytes, and the importance of human genes in EBV infection and the subsequent development of EBV associated disease. Ultimately these studies will provide insight for the development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of EBV related malignancies and disease.