Jay A. Nelson

Jay A. Nelson, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist in the Pathobiology and Immunology Division of the ONPRC, Professor in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and the founder and Director of the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute (VGTI). Dr. Nelson is a senior molecular virologist with over 155 papers and reviews on a variety of topics including herpesviruses, retroviruses, and flaviviruses. The primary focus of Dr. Nelson's research over the years has centered on the molecular pathogenesis of cytomegalovirus (CMV). Some of the seminal observations from his laboratory include the identification of the latent reservoir of CMV as a myeloid lineage cell, the identification and characterization of a viral G-coupled receptor as a factor in the acceleration of vascular disease, the characterization of virally encoded microRNAs (as well as the CMV genes regulated by these RNA species), the use of CMV as an effective vaccine platform, and more recently, the generation of a humanized mouse to study molecular aspects of human CMV latency and reactivation. Over the past 5 years, Dr. Nelson has established a program to elucidate host-pathogen interactions with West Nile virus. Dr Nelson's group has pioneered the use of functional genomic approaches to identify cellular therapeutic targets for viral disease. This approach has determined that cYes, a cellular Src kinase, is an important regulator of flavivirus maturation and an enzyme hijacked by the virus resulting in tight junction malfunction. The second aspect of Dr.Nelson's flavivirus program is his work with other members of the VGTI to elucidate mechanisms of West Nile virus disease in the aged immunosenescent population.

Key Publications

Tirabassi R., L. Hook, I. Landais, F. Grey, H. Meyers, H. Hewitt, and J. Nelson. Human cytomegalovirus US7 is regulated cynergistically by two virally-encoded miRNAs and by two distinct mechanisms. J. Virol. 85:11938-11944, 2011.

Hansen S.G., J.C. Ford, M.S. Lewis, A.B. Ventura, C.M. Hughes, L. Coyne-Johnson L, N. Whizin K. Oswald, R. Shoemaker, T. Swanson, A.W. Legasse, M.J. Chiuchiolo, C.L. Parks, M.K. Axthelm,
J.A. Nelson, M.A. Jarvis, M. Piatak Jr, J.D. Lifson, and L.J. Picker. Profound early control of highly pathogenic SIV by an effector memory T-cell vaccine. Nature May:26;473(7348):523-7, 2011.

Stein D.A., S.T. Perry, M.D. Buck, C.S. Oehmen, M.A. Fischer, E. Poore, J.L. Smith, A.M. Lancaster, A.J. Hirsch, M.K. Slifka
, J.A. Nelson, S. Shresta, and K. Früh.Inhibition of dengue virus infections in cell cultures and in AG129 mice by a small interfering RNA targeting a highly conserved sequence. J. Virol. Oct:85(19):10154-66, 2011.

Shum D, J.L. Smith, A. J. Hirsch, B. Bhinder, C. Radu, D.A. Stein,
J.A. Nelson, K.Früh, and H. Djaballah. High-content assay to identify inhibitors of dengue virus infection. Assay Drug Dev Technol Oct:8(5):553-70, 2010.

Smith M.S., D.C. Goldman, A.S. Bailey, D.L. Pfaffle, C.N. Kreklywich, D.B. Spencer, F.A. Othieno, D.N. Streblow, J.V. Garcia, W.H. Flemming, and J.A. Nelson. G-CSF reactivates human cytomegalovirus in a latently infected humanized mouse model. Cell Host Microbe, Sep 16;8(3):284-91, 2010.

Grey F., R. Tirabassi, H. Meyers, G. Wu, S. McWeeney, L. Hook, and J.A. Nelson. A Viral microRNA down-regulates multiple cell cyles genes through mRNA t'UTRs. PLoS Pathog. Jun 24:6(6):e1000967, 2010.

Hansen S.G.,  C.J. Powers, R. Richards, A.B. Ventura, J.C. Ford, D. Siess, M.K. Axthelm,
J.A. Nelson, M.A. Jarvis, L.J. Picker, and K. Früh. Evasion of CD8+ T cells is critical for superinfection by cytomegalovirus. Science Apr 2;328(5974):102-6, 2010.

Wille P.T., A.J. Knoche,
J.A. Nelson, M.A. Jarvis, and D.C. Johnson. A human cytomegalovirus gO-null mutant fails to incorporate gH/gL into the virion envelope and is unable to enter fibroblasts and epithelial and endothelial cells. J. Virol. 84(5):2585-96, 2010.

Medigeshi GR, A.J. Hirsch, J.D. Brien, J.L. Uhrlaub, P.W.Mason, C. Wiley, J. Nikolich-Zugich, J.A. Nelson.  West Nile virus capsid degradation of claudin proteins disrupts epithelial barrier function.  J Virol 83:6125-34, 2009.

Dumortier J., D.N. Streblow, A.V. Moses, J.M. Jacobs, C.N. Kreklywich, D. Camp, R.D. Smith, S.L. Orloff, and J.A. Nelson. Human Cytomegalovirus Secretome contains factors that induce angiogenesis and wound healing.  J Virol 82:6524-35, 2008.

Grey F., H. Meyers, E.A. White, D.H. Spector, and J.A. Nelson. A human cytomegalovirus-encoded microRNA regulates expression of multiple viral genes involved in replication.  PLOS Pathogens 3(11):e163; 2007.