Dr. Ricciardi’s research interests involve understanding the molecular mechanisms of viral tumorigenesis and disease. A recent discovery reveals that one viral protein (E1A-12) exerts control over NF-kB, the master regulator of the immune system. These studies are leading to novel ways of controlling inflammation and cancers. The discoveries of processivity factors that enable DNA synthesis of the human viruses, HHV-6 and KSHV (the causal agent of malignancy in AIDS) are leading to the development of antiviral therapies. Additional antiviral therapy work has led to early candidate compounds that prevent replication of vaccinia virus, the cousin of the bioterroristic threatening small poxvirus. Dr. Ricciardi’s teaching responsibilities for Penn Dental Medicine include the Virology course and a Division of Advanced Dental Education course.