Type: Associate Faculty
PhD, University of California, Berkeley
Website: Visit our Lab Home Page
My research focuses on a small RNA plant virus, Red clover necrotic mosaic virus (RCNMV), as a model system to study gene regulation and assembly based on RNA structural transitions and using the virus capsid as a nano-cargo delivery vehicle. The virus temporally regulates gene expression through the dynamic formation and interaction of RNA structures. RCNMV further regulates other aspects of its life cycle, including virion assembly by the various RNA structural transitions. This virus, because of their size, uniform rigid structure and load capacity is being converted into a nanoparticle therapeutic delivery vessel. RCNMV is a soil-borne pathogen, is structurally robust and able to maintain integrity in a range of environmental condition including those found in a mammalian circulatory system.
Franzen S, and Lommel SA. (2009). Targeting cancer with 'smart bombs': equipping plant virus nanoparticles for a 'seek and destroy' mission. Nanomed. 4: 575–588.
Powers JG, Sit TL, Heinsohn C, George CG, Kim KH, and Lommel SA. (2008). The RCNMV RNA-2 encoded movement protein is a second suppressor of RNA silencing. Virology. 381: 277–286.
Powers JG, Sit TL, Qu F, Morris TJ, Kim KH, and Lommel SA. (2008). A versatile assay for the identification of RNA silencing suppressors based on complementation of viral movement. Molecular Plant Microbe Interactions. 21: 879–890.
Sherman MB, Guenther RH, Tama F, Sit TL, Brooks CL, Mikhailov AM, Orlova EV, Baker TS, and Lommel SA. (2006). Removal of divalent cations induces structural transitions in Red clover necrotic mosaic virus revealing a potential mechanism for RNA release. Journal of Virology. 80: 10395–10406.
Sit TL, Vaewhongs AA, and Lommel SA. (1998). RNA-mediated trans-activation of transcription from a viral RNA. Science. 281: 829–832.