Graduate Studies Faculty

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Jay A. Nelson, Ph.D.

Admin Unit: SOM-Molecular Microbiology & Immunology Department
Phone: (503) 418-2705
Fax: (503) 418-2701
Mail Code: VGTI
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
Program in Molecular & Cellular Biosciences
Research Interests:
Molecular Basis of Cytomegalovirus Replication and Persistence Development of Cytomegalovirus as a Vaccine Vector, Regulation of Cytomegalovirus replication by viral miRNAs, Elucidating Mechanisms of West Nile Virus Assembly Egress; Medical » Click here for more about Dr. Nelson's research » PubMed Listing
Preceptor Rotations
Dr. Nelson has not indicated availability for preceptor rotations at this time.
Faculty Mentorship
Dr. Nelson has not indicated availability as a mentor at this time.

Summary of Current Research

The long term goal of my laboratory is to elucidate the mechanisms of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) induced central nervous system (CNS) disease in AIDS. A number of groups have observed malfunction of the blood brain barrier (BBB) associated with HIV infection of brain capillary endothelial (BCE) cells. We have established in vitro cultures of primary BCE cells to examine the role of HIV in this disease process. We have shown that HIV efficiently infects BCE but not large vessel endothelial cells utilizing a unique receptor. In addition, we have also demonstrated that different strains display a preferential tropism for BCE cells and have mapped a unique HIV genetic loci which determines viral replication. We have established an in vitro model of the BBB which will be utilized to identify the mechanisms through which HIV perturbs the barrier. We have also generated a simian animal model to test predictions established in our HIV/BBB in vitro. A final future goal will identify the BCE cellular receptor which mediates HIV entry into these cells.

Recent Publications


  • Ph.D, Oregon State University, 1980

Previous Positions

Non-Academic Interests