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. In addition over the past 5 years, Dr. Nelson has established a program to elucidate host-pathogen interactions with flaviviruses. 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

Grey F, Tirabassi R, Meyers H, Wu G, McWeeney S, Hook L, Nelson JA. (2010)  A viral microRNA down-regulates multiple cell cycle genes through mRNA t'UTRs.  PLoS Pathog. Jun 24:6(6):e10000967.

Smith MS, Goldman DC, Bailey AS, Pfaffle DL, Kreklywich CN, Spencer DB, Othieno FA, Streblow DN, Garcia JV, Flemming WH, Nelson JA.  (2010)  G-CSF reactivates human cytomegalovirus in a latently infected humanized mouse model.  Cell Host Microbe. 8(3):284-291.

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

Hancock MH, Tirabassi RS, Nelson JA. (2012)  Rhesus cytomegalovirus encodes seventeen microRNAs that are differentially expressed in vitro and in vivo.  Virology. 425:133-142.

Hansen SG, Sacha JB, Hughes CM, Ford JC, Burwitz BJ, Scholz I, Gilbride RM, Lewis MS, Gilliam AN, Ventura AB, Malouli D, Xu G, Richards R, Whizin N, Reed JS, Hammond KB, Fischer M, Turner JM, Legasse AW, Axthelm MK, Edlefsen PT, Nelson JA, Lifson JF, Früh K, Picker LJ.  (2013) Cytomegalovirus vectors violate CD8+ T cell epitope recognition patterns.  Science. 340:6135.

Hansen SG, Piatak M Jr, Ventura AB, Hughes CM, Gilbride RM, Ford JC, Oswalk K, Shoemaker R, Li Y, Lewis MS, Gilliam AN, Xu G, Whizzin N, Burwitz BJ, Planer SL, Turner JM, Legasse AW, Axthelm MK, Nelson JA, Früh K, Sacha JB, Estes JD, Keele BF, Edlefsen PT, Lifson JD, Picker LJ. (2013) Immune clearance of highly pathogenic SIV infection.  Nature. 502:100-104.

Hakki M, Goldman DC, Streblow DN, Hamlin KL, Krekylwich CN, Fleming WH, Nelson JA.  (2014) HCMV infection of humanized mice after transplantation of G-CSF mobilized peripheral blood stem cells from HCMV-seropositive donors.  Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 20:128-138.

Boudreau RL, Jian P, Gilmore BL, Spendler RM, Tirabassi R, Nelson JA, Ross CA, Xing Y, Davidson BL.  (2014) Transcriptome-wide discovery of microRNA binding sites in human brain. Neuron. 81:294-305.

Hook LM, Grey F, Grabski R, Tirabassi R, Doyle T, Hancock M, Landais I, Jeng S, McWeeney S, Britt W, Nelson JA.  (2014) Cytomegalovirus miRNAs target secretory pathway genes to facilitate formation of the virion assembly compartment and reduce cytokine secretion.  Cell Host Microbe. 15:363-373.

Hook LM, Landais I, Hancock H, Nelson JA. (2014)  Techniques for characterizing cytomegalovirus-encoded miRNAs.  Methods Mol Bio. 1119:239-265.

Smith JL, Stein DA, Shum D, Fischer MA, Radu C, Bhinder B, Djaballah H, Nelson JA, Früh K, Hirsch AJ.  Inhibition of dengue virus replication by a class of small molecule compounds that antagonize dopamine receptor 4 and downstream mitogen activated protein kinase signaling.  J Virol., in press.

See a full listing of Dr. Nelson's publications.