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HOW DO VIRUSES CAUSE NEURODEGENERATION? CNS Viruses: Targets and Tools Viruses that inhabit the central nervous system contribute to many neurological diseases. Kamel Khalili, PhD, leads Temple neuroscientists in a quest to understand how these neurotropic viruses, such as HIV-1 and JCV, get into the brain, how they replicate there, and how they trigger their distinctive pathologies. One immediate aim of their work is to improve tests and treatments for the debilitating neurological problems so often seen in HIV/AIDS patients or others with immunodeficiencies. But these viruses are more than targets. Viruses that naturally infect the brain can also be exquisite research tools for probing the tangled molecular and cellular pathways that lead to neurodegeneration, neuroimmune disorders, and neuroproliferative disease. In pursuing these goals, the Temple group draws from several departments and they engage in basic science and animal experiments as well as clinical testing. For example, the work of Jennifer Gordon, PhD, in developing knock-out and transgenic mice has greatly accelerated understanding of how viral reactivation contributes to neuronal proliferation and migration, neurocognition, neurite outgrowth, and tumorigenesis. Based on this neurovirology team’s strong track record of accomplishment, the NIH ABOVE Immunostaining of the mouse

brain shows Pur-alpha in the cytoplasm of neurons within the dentate gyrus.

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NEUROSCIENCES

recently awarded Temple a major grant to create the Comprehensive NeuroAIDS Core Center—one of only nine such centers in the U.S.—and translational advances have been made on several fronts.

Profile for Temple Health

Temple University School of Medicine - Highlights of Basic and Clinical Research - 2014  

Temple University School of Medicine is pushing the boundaries of science to help reduce the devastating effects of heart and lung disease,...

Temple University School of Medicine - Highlights of Basic and Clinical Research - 2014  

Temple University School of Medicine is pushing the boundaries of science to help reduce the devastating effects of heart and lung disease,...