The Katzenellenbogen Laboratory conducts research on human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a very common infection, affecting more than 75% of the adult population. HPV is categorized as high-risk or low-risk, based on its association with cancer; nearly 5% of cancers worldwide are caused by HPV. In the Katzenellenbogen Laboratory, the focus is on the host-pathogen interactions that activate oncogenic pathways and dysregulate typical cellular processes to permit cancer development and progression of HPV-associated cancers. The laboratory conducts fundamental molecular biology studies and works to link those models of disease to true pathophysiology in people.
My research focuses on the fundamental mechanisms by which high-risk HPV infections drive cancer development and progression in host cells. I focus on the collaboration of the high-risk HPV oncogenes, E6 and E7, with cellular proteins to dysregulate key pathways and genes that are shared among infection-associated and non-infection associated cancers. I also conduct research on the synergy between HPV and HIV in accelerating cervical cancer development in Uganda.