471c Bond Life Sciences Center
Marc Johnson is an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology (MMI). The Johnson lab studies the interactions that occur between viruses (particularly HIV) and their hosts. Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, meaning that they are completely unable replicate without the help of their host organism. They accomplish this by tricking cellular machinery into producing and assembling all of the pieces needed to make more virus. How this coercion is accomplished is often poorly understood. Often the normal role of host genes is only understood after we uncover how the virus subvert them. The Johnson lab in particular studies how viruses use host machinery to transport all of the viral pieces to correct location in the cell for assembly. A clearer understanding of these interactions will provide new avenues for the development of antiviral drugs.