Nelly Pante

Full Professor

My laboratory studies one of the fundamental molecular trafficking pathways within the cell: bidirectional transport of macromolecules between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. To investigate this problem we use cellular and molecular techniques in combination with fluorescence and electron microscopy. We also explore possible practical applications by incorporating viral research into our studies. We study how viruses deliver their genome to the cell nucleus. These studies on nuclear import of viral genomes are of particular importance because they may lead to the development of treatments and drugs that block nuclear uptake of viruses and thereby viral replication and propagation of infections. The viruses presently under investigation in our lab include Influenza A virus, Hepatitis B virus, baculoviruses, and parvoviruses. Molecular trafficking between the nucleus and the cytoplasm occurs through specialized multi-protein channels called nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). As the NPC is the major player in nucleocytoplasmic transport, we are also molecularly and structurally characterizing the NPC.