Paul G. Ahlquist, PhD

Position title: PROFESSOR


Phone: (608) 263-5916, (608) 265-9213

841a Bock Laboratories
1525 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706

Paul G. Ahlquist, PhD

Professor of Oncology and Plant Pathology; Member, Institute for Molecular Virology; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Lead Scientist for Virology, Morgridge Institute for Research

Dr. Ahlquist’s laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms by which viruses replicate, interact with cells, and promote tumor induction and maintenance. Their work spans fundamental laboratory/tissue culture studies to clinical/translational studies with large collections of patient samples with the goals of advancing our understanding of virus infection and oncogenesis to prevent and treat virus infection and virus-induced tumors. They study multiple viruses, including advanced models for replication of positive-strand RNA viruses; two cancer-relevant reverse-transcribing viruses, HIV-1 and hepatitis B virus; and a major DNA tumor virus, human papillomavirus. Their recent work includes the first cryo-electron microscope imaging of positive-strand RNA virus genome replication complexes, revealing striking features of their viral RNA and protein components with major implications for replication complex assembly and function. Other recent advances from their group include the first molecular studies of the full progression of cervical cancer in humans, including early stages; multiple findings on the mechanisms and viral exploitation of host ESCRT and reticulon membrane-remodeling pathways; and new facets of HIV-1 transcription regulation. At least 18 PhD and postdoctoral trainees from his group, including trainees of this Virology training grant, have gone on to faculty positions at Yale, Cornell, other US sites, and international sites from Barcelona to Kyoto University. Dr. Ahlquist’s former postdoc VTG URM trainee, Dr. Arturo Diaz, published 10 studies with Dr. Ahlquist, on which he was first author or co-first author on 6.  Dr. Diaz is now an Assistant Professor at La Sierra University in Los Angeles. He will participate in this year’s Wisc-e-sota Conference’s inaugural career development workshop. Dr. Ahlquist is the Associate Director for Basic Sciences of the Carbone Cancer Center and recent recipient of the prestigious UW Steenbock Professorship. Dr. Ahlquist has extensive collaborations with Drs. Kimple, Kawaoka, Lambert, Sherer, and Sugden.  His lab is supported by funds from HHMI, and Tumor Virology P01 (Projects 1 and 2).