- Development of methods to grow hepatitis C virus in the laboratory and study the biochemical activities of the viral proteins (Drs. Lindenbach and Pyle). Hepatitis C virus causes a large fraction of liver cancer worldwide.
- Discovery of the mechanism by which Epstein-Barr virus switches from a quiescent to an actively growing state (Dr. Miller). Epstein-Barr virus causes certain types of lymphomas, including disease in transplant recipients; Hodgkins Disease; and certain solid tumors.
- Demonstration that human papillomavirus proteins expressed in cervical cancer cells are targets for cancer therapy (Dr. DiMaio). Human papillomaviruses cause cervical and other anogenital cancers and some head and neck cancers.
- Discovery of novel RNAs in herpesviruses that regulate viral and cellular gene expression (Dr. Steitz). Herpesviruses causes a number of cancers in AIDS patients and other individuals. Development of novel vaccines that prevent HIV infection in primates and papillomavirus-induced tumors in experimental animals (Drs. Rose and Brandsma). The HIV vaccine will soon enter clinical trials.
- Analysis of viruses that preferentially kill human glioblastoma cells (Drs. van den Pol, Tattersall, and Rose).
- Discovery of novel processes by which viruses enter cells and initiate infection (Dr. Mothes and Dr. Dan DiMaio).
- Discovery of the strategies used by viruses to stimulate and avoid the immune response (Drs. Means, Iwasaki, Keach, and Robek).