Adam P. Geballe, MD
Professor
Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy & Infectious Diseases
Adjunct Professor
Department of Microbiology
Member, Divisions of Human Biology & Clinical Research, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Research Affiliate, UW Center for Human Development & Disability
Sites of Practice: 
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
University of Washington Medical Center

Faculty Information

Biography

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections are very common and result in life-threatening diseases in newborns and immunocompromised patients. As well, HCMV provides a valuable model system for studies of regulation of eukaryotic gene expression at the translational level. After infection by many viruses, including HCMV, cells continue to synthesize proteins despite activation of host cell responses designed to shut off translation and thereby prevent viral replication. Studies in the Geballe lab have identified genes in HCMV and related viruses that are capable of blocking antiviral responses, especially those activated by double-stranded RNA. The proteins encoded by the HCMV genes act in part through an unconventional double-stranded RNA binding domain. As well, they self-associate and bind to the critical cellular kinase PKR and to other host and viral factors. Efforts are now underway to determine the origin of the activators of PKR produced during HCMV infection and to elucidate the mechanisms by which the viral genes block the antiviral responses. New experiments are underway to clarify how cytomegalovirus antagonists evolved and have contributed to the rapid adaptation of PKR during primate evolution.

Another line of research aims to identify the genes and mechanisms by which poxviruses evade PKR and related host dsRNA-activated anti-viral pathways. These studies should reveal new insights into the host-virus interactions that are likely to be key determinants of the pathogenesis of viral infections and may have implications for the design of viral vaccines and vectors.

Education & Training: 
MD
Duke University
Durham NC
1978
Resident in Internal Medicine
University of Chicago
Chicago IL
1978-1981
Fellowship in Infectious Diseases
University of California
San Francisco CA
1981-1983
Associate Investigator in Infectious Diseases
Veterans Administration
San Francisco CA
1983-1984
Honors: 
Phi Beta Kappa
Alpha Omega Alpha
Outstanding Mentor Award for UW Undergraduate Research
McDougall Mentoring Award