Keith R. Jerome, MD, PhD
Professor, Laboratory Medicine; Head, Virology Division; Adjunct Associate Professor, Microbiology; and Associate Member, FHCRC
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He has a long-standing interest in chronic viral infections—their diagnosis, the basic biology of the virus-host interaction, and novel treatment approaches. Diagnosis of viral disease. Dr. Jerome directs the UW Diagnostic Molecular Virology Lab. Research interests in the diagnostic area focus on the role of the laboratory in the management of chronic viral infections, especially newer modalities including drug resistance testing, ultradeep pyrosequencing, and human genotyping. Virus/host interactions. Dr. Jerome's laboratory has demonstrated that herpes viruses actively modulate host apoptotic pathways, protecting infected epithelial cells from death while hastening the death of immune cells. His lab has identified several of the viral proteins involved in these processes and defined their mechanisms of action. Novel therapeutic approaches. Dr. Jerome's lab has pioneered the use of homing endonucleases to specifically attack and disable latent viral genomes within cells, without causing harm to the host cell. This approach offers the long-term prospect of a cure for viral infections including HIV, hepatitis B, and herpesviruses. He collaborates with Drs. Scharenberg, Mullins, Baumgartner, and Koelle.