Peter Sarnow is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Stanford University. Over the years, he has been studying virus-host interactions that take place in cells infected by RNA viruses. In particular, his laboratory has been studying the mechanism by which ribosomes initiate translation by internal ribosome binding in certain viral and cellular mRNAs. More recently, he discovered that hepatitis C virus recruits a liver-specific microRNA to the 5’ terminus of the viral RNA genome. Curiously, the microRNA-HCV RNA complex greatly stabilizes the viral RNA genome, likely by evading cellular innate immune responses.
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