Nathan M. Sherer, PhD
Position title: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (608) 890-2551
501 Bock Laboratories, Robert M
1525 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
Associate Professor of Oncology and Molecular Virology
Dr. Sherer’s lab studies human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Trainees in Dr. Sherer’s lab employ viral genetics, biochemistry, cell-based assays and advanced live cell imaging to study retroviral assembly and virus cell-to-cell transmission. One focus is to understand cell type- and/or species-specific restrictions to HIV-1 replication, with an emphasis on understanding severe blocks on HIV-1 virion production intrinsic to cells derived from mice and other rodents. Relevant to the development of a needed small animal model, the lab has devised ways to overcome rodent cell blocks using both modified HIV-1 viruses and mouse cells engineered to express human versions of the species-specific host factors. A second focus of the lab is developing quantitative imaging and advanced proteomics strategies for studying retroviral protein and RNA trafficking in single cells; studies that have exposed highly unique subcellular trafficking activities intrinsic to viral cis-acting RNA elements located in the viral mRNA’s 5’ and 3’ untranslated regions. Sherer’s graduate student and VTG trainee, Ryan Behrens, has made notable contributions to our understanding of HIV-1 gene regulation (Aligeti, Behrens [shared first authors] et al., J. Virology 2014, PMID: 25275125; Behrens et al., J. Virology 2017, PMID: 27852860) with three more manuscripts in preparation (graduation expected in December, 2018). Ryan’s recent design of a method to generate human T cells 100% refractory to HIV-1 replication led to his nomination for a UW-Madison WARF Innovation Award and is the basis for a newly awarded NIH R21 grant starting in late 2018. Ryan is committed to a career in virology, and will pursue postdoctoral training with a particular interest in developing novel gene therapy-based strategies for studying and, potentially, curing persistent viral infections. Studies in the Sherer lab draw on strong collaborations with Drs. Ahlquist, Gumperz, Lambert, Palmenberg, Rakotondrafara, and Striker.