David Tscharke

BSc (hons), Adelaide; PhD (Adelaide) Viral Immunology; ARC Future Fellow, Research School of Biology, The Australian National University

Email: david.tscharke@anu.edu.au
Phone: +612 6125 3020
Web: www.biology.anu.edu.au/research/labs/tscharke-lab-viruses-and-immunity

My laboratory works at the interface between virology and immunology with a focus on pathogenesis and adaptive immunity to large DNA viruses, primarily vaccinia and herpes simplex viruses. Vaccinia virus was the vaccine used to eradicate smallpox and so provides an excellent example of effective anti-viral immunity. We use this virus to answer basic questions about how effective immunity to viruses develops and how our immune system chooses protein targets on virus infected cells to fight infection. This work mixes advanced mass spectrometry and more traditional virology methods. Herpes simplex viruses cause cold sores and genital herpes. These viruses are dormant between acute episodes of disease, but the way that these two phases of infection are controlled remains a mystery. We are using infections in sophisticated mouse models to uncover low level virus activity (gene expression) during the dormant phase. We are also interested in how this might be detected by the immune system to manage the transition between acute and dormant infection and to halt reactivation of disease.

Research School of Biology
The Australian National University
134 Linnaeus Way
Acton, ACT 2601