Britt Glaunsinger photo, credit Elene Zhukova

Research Expertise and Interest

virology, gene expression, herpesvirus

Research Description

Britt Glaunsinger is the Class of 1963 Chair and a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and the Department of Plant and Microbial Biology. The Glaunsinger lab explores how viruses interface with an infected cell, as well as how they hijack cellular machinery for their own use. They are particularly interested in how herpesviruses shape the gene expression environment of their host cell.  They primarily study gamma-herpesviruses, including Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, which is a major cause of AIDS-associated cancers. They anticipate that these studies will enhance our understanding of virus-host interactions, as well as provide insight into how gene expression pathways are normally regulated in human cells.

In the News

Of virulent viruses and reservoir hosts

As the public health community races to contain the current global pandemic, researchers are working diligently to understand the novel coronavirus. Such efforts cross many facets of scientific research — from virology to wildlife ecology to medicine — with the ultimate hope of containing the virus and developing a vaccine.

Researcher tweaks cells with mRNA, in quest to improve antivirals

Berkeley biochemist Britt Glaunsinger studies the cell-takeover tactics of herpes viruses. "Antivirals only work on viruses that are replicating," she says. Discovering ways "to lure latent viruses out of hiding, en masse," is critical to curing herpes, shingles, or HIV.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
September 9, 2020
Mark Fischetti, Britt Glaunsinger, Macarena Carrizosa, and Sunya Bhutta
How does SARS-CoV-2 raise such havoc in the body? How does our immune system handle the attack, and why are some people more susceptible that others? How do vaccines work? Listen to a far-ranging conversation with Britt Blaunsinger, a virologist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute who is a specialist in viral infection.
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