• Name: Paul Rowley, Ph.D.
  • Institution: University of Idaho
  • Department: Biological Sciences
  • Phone: 208-885-4160
  • Email: prowley@uidaho.edu

Summary: Viruses are everywhere and cause many deadly and dangerous diseases within humans, plants and animals. Dr. Rowley’s research interests are centered on the complex interactions that occur between a virus and it’s host. The Rowley laboratory aims to better understand how viruses hijack host proteins and how antiviral host proteins thwart virus replication. The laboratory uses both mammalian cell culture and the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae to understand how viral antagonism has shaped the evolution and function of host proteins.

Minimum Classes: Introductory biology


Project 1 – The dark matter of yeast and fungi: Mycoviruses.
Investigations into the complex viral ecosystems of the intracellular viruses of yeasts and fungi. Students will collect and analyze environmental samples for new species of yeasts and fungi and isolate their viruses. Using techniques from molecular biology and DNA sequencing students will then sequence viral genomes of these new viruses and analyze their evolutionary relationship to other known viruses.

Project 2 – Killer yeasts as a source of novel chemotherapeutic compounds.
Antimicrobial compounds produced by the viruses of fungi and yeasts are known to benefit their host but could also have biotechnological applications. This project will seek to characterize toxins produced by yeast viruses and understand their activity against important fungal pathogens using techniques from microbiology. Students will also create genomic libraries of mutant toxins that can be screened for novel activities and characteristics that would aid in their application against pathogens.

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