Department of Microbiology
The overall goal of Dr. Cohen’s research is to understand the molecular events that mediate the entry of herpes simplex virus (HSV) into mammalian cells and promote its pathogenesis in its human host. A major focus of this research has been on cellular receptors and the glycoproteins, which are found in the virus envelope and act as mediators of virus entry and as targets of the host’s immune response. A major goal is to develop a subunit vaccine against smallpox using proteins from vaccinia virus or from variola virus (smallpox). A second goal is to ask more fundamental questions about poxvirus entry into susceptible cells. A variety of experimental approaches are being taken, modeled on our herpesvirus work.