Krug laboratory

Stony Brook University

Molecular Genetics and Microbiology


Herpesviruses establish a life-long infection in their hosts. Ultimately, each herpesvirus has evolved an intricate strategy of manipulating the host cells and host immune response to support its complex life cycle that involves: (1) replication and expansion, (2) dissemination to reservoirs where the virus establishes a latent (quiescent infection), (3) maintenance of latency to persist in the host, (4) evasion of immune clearance, and (5) reactivation to produce infectious particles that seed new cells and new hosts.

The latent program of the gammaherpesviruses Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma associated-herpesvirus (KSHV) in cellular reservoirs is associated with lymphomas and neoplasms. 

My research interests lie in understanding the molecular determinants of virus-host interactions during chronic gammaherpesvirus infections. We seek to dissect this complex virus and host interplay using a model pathogen system to find novel therapeutics.

Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68) is a natural pathogen of mice. MHV68 has genetic colinearity and biological parallels with its human counterparts. The ease of generating recombinant MHV68 viruses coupled with the availability of genetically altered mice provides a tractable model system to identify and characterize virus and host determinants of chronic infection. In addition, we can further define the molecular mechanisms of these determinants in lytic and latent cell culture systems.

One major focus of my lab is to understand the role of host transcription factors during MHV68 infection. Nuclear Factor-kappa B (NF-κB) is activated by EBV and KSHV oncoproteins. NF-κB activation is critical for the efficient establishment and maintenance of a latent MHV68 infection in B lymphocytes. We are mapping the pathways that drive NF-κB activation during infection and evaluating the consequence of that activation for the cell and the virus. In addition, we aim to further define the role of NF-κB activation in particular cell-types and tissues in vivo.


Welcome to the Krug Lab

Molecular Virology

Virus Pathogenesis

Virus-Host Interactions

Herpesvirus Latency

Innate & Adaptive Immunity